Discovery Networks claims leadership with TLC in Europe

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 04-09-2013

TLC is Discovery Networks' second highest performing channel after the Discovery Channel, the US group has announced as it continues expanding its outreach in Europe.

The female-targeted lifestyle and entertainment channel is also the one most distributed worldwide.

If a further Western development is expected by the end of the year, there is no launch set for France as yet, Nicolas Bonard, GM & SVP, Discovery Enterprises International and France, told to Rapid TV News.

TLC is among the top ten women's TV channels in the US, the group has stated, and has shown the strongest audience growth.

In Europe, TLC was first launched in Norway in March 2010, then on DTT in Italy in September 2010 as Real Time Channel. In Italy, it is the sixth FTA channel for women aged 20-49, reaching a 3.6% audience share.

TLC also launched in the Netherlands in July 2011 and in Denmark in October 2011, before reaching the UK in April 2013.

17 million British viewers have already watched the channel, according to Discovery, and it comes in ninth among the female-focused entertainment pay-TV channels.

Internationally, TLC is distributed across 160 countries and has 300 million viewers.

Nicolas Bonard believes that the conditions are right to establish TLC's footprint in new territories as traditional lifestyle channels are losing their audiences. "Operators will have to change to answer to the audience's new tastes, and TLC is a good format," he says.

Though Discovery would like to launch the channel in France, the priority this season and in early 2014 is for the two existing channels: Discovery and Discovery Science.

After an initial co-production deal for a reality TV documentary series was inked with French producer Candela, Discovery is now looking to sign further agreements with other French producers.

Original local projects are also in development with TF1 Productions as part of the global agreement inked with TF1 in December 2012.

The setting up of this strategic alliance is one of the top priorities of Discovery in the coming months, Nicolas Bonard confirms.

After acquiring a 20% stake in pan-European channel Eurosport, and a 20% share of TF1′s four pay-TV channels – Histoire, Ushuaia TV, Stylia and TV Breizh – Discovery is currently working with TF1 to establish operational and programming synergies.

Although the launch of TLC in France and French-speaking countries is not on the agenda yet, the channel is already selling programmes such as Miami Ink to Vivolta, which Discovery also has stakes in, and to DTT channels Numéro 23 and NT1.