14.48 Europe/London, September 13, 2011 By Robert Briel

Spanish broadcaster Unidad Editorial (UE) and Discovery Networks International have announced an agreement to launch a new free-to-air DTT channel in Spain in January 2012.

The new channel will be a factual entertainment channel that is complementary to Discovery’s established portfolio of pay-TV channel brands. UE’s Veo Televisión has a digital terrestrial licence in the country.

As well as content from Discovery’s portfolio of channels around the world, the yet to be named channel will also offer news and current affairs programming, in prime time, created by Unidad Editorial.

Antonio Fernández-Galiano, president of Veo Televisión and CEO of Unidad Editorial, said in a statement: “This is an important agreement with Discovery Networks, the biggest non-fiction media company in the world. We are developing in the Spanish market a new and innovative project that combines the successful formula of Discovery with the informative strength of Unidad Editorial.”

Dee Forbes, president and managing director, Discovery Networks Western Europe, said: “The launch of a free to air channel in Spain gives us the opportunity to increase the size of our Spanish business and reinforces our commitment to the Spanish market. We have a predominantly pay -TV business across Western Europe, but in some markets such as Spain, where DTT is the dominant TV platform, the addition of a free to air channel, gives us an opportunity to share our content with the widest possible audience.”

Marinella Soldi, general manager of Discovery Networks Southern Europe commented: “We are very excited about this partnership. Partnering with Unidad Editorial to launch a DTT channel is a step change for our Spanish TV business. It gives us the opportunity to bring Discovery’s high quality factual programmes to the widest possible Spanish Audience. Discovery has launched successful free to air channels in other European markets including Italy and Germany. This new agreement provides opportunities for us to further increase our investment in the Spanish market and expand our distribution to nearly 100% of Spanish households”.

In Italy, Discovery broadcasts the female skewed Real Time channel as an FTA DTT (and DTH) channel.