Silver Spring, Md. – Discovery Communications (NASD: DISCA) said on Monday
it has paid $156 million to acquire BBC Worldwide’s 50% interest in a pair of
joint ventures with the company.
Under the deal, Discovery bought BBC’s stakes
in joint ventures for Animal Planet and Liv (formerly People + Arts).
and the BBC also agreed to extend their programming relationship for
co-productions and program acquisitions through 2014.
"I decided soon
after I arrived (in 2004) that we needed our own branding in channels and that
we should migrate to all-BBC brands over time, so I have been talking to
(Discovery) for some time about doing this deal," John Smith, the CEO of
BBC Worldwide, told the Financial Times.