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A+E Buys Out NBCUniversal From Its German Channels

Variety logo Variety 6/1/2017 Stewart Clarke
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A+E is continuing to take control of its channels businesses, this time buying out NBCUniversal in Germany.

The deal means that A+E will wholly own the A&E and History networks in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Luxembourg, which were previously run with the international arm of NBCU. The news was announced days after A+E sealed a new carriage deal with Sky Deutschland for its German channels.

A+E and NBCU have had a channels partnership for 12 years. The German A&E channel shows “Roots” (pictured), and History features U.S. shows and local offerings, including “The Eleventh Day.”

Under the leadership of international boss Sean Cohan, A+E has been shifting from partnering on its international channels operations to making them “owned and operated,” meaning fully owned by A+E, which is itself a joint venture between Disney and Hearst.

A+E has already taken full control of its networks in Southeast Asia, South Korea, and Japan. In Europe, it started going it alone in 2014, when it bought Fox out of an Italian joint venture.

A+E Networks UK remains an exception. It operates the A+E channels in Africa, Benelux, Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, and the U.K., and is a joint venture with Sky under the terms of a long-term deal renewed in May.

“With powerful brands, History and A&E, and a talented local team, we look forward to building on that success with strategic investment in local programming and new linear and digital services to grow our audiences in one of the world’s largest media markets,” said Cohan.

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