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Discovery to launch DMAX in UK

Factual giant Discovery is launching male-skewing DMAX in the UK as a free-to-air network this month, replacing its Travel Channel.

DMAX’s offering will include Man vs Food

DMAX, which focuses on programming around survival, extreme lives, motoring and comedy, will offer shows including adult animation Archer, reality format Naked & Afraid and UK premieres of US food challenge show Man vs Food.

Simon Downing, senior VP, head of factual and sport, said its launch “strengthens and diversifies our free-to air-portfolio in the UK, allowing us to engage more audiences than ever before with compelling real-life entertainment.”

DMAX will replace Travel Channel on FTA but the latter will remain available on pay TV in the UK.

It is the latest addition to Discovery’s growing FTA portfolio in the UK, which includes male-skewing channel Quest and female-focused channels Food Network and Quest Red.

DMAX is already available as a FTA channel across EMEA, including in Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Spain.

DMAX launches on January 16 on Freeview 42 and Freesat 150 and is available on Sky 178 and Virgin 213. Travel Channel remains available on Sky 198 and Virgin 292.

In related news, Discovery has taken a controlling stake in cycling-focused digital sports media company Play Sports Group.

The deal, which extends Discovery’s 20% stake taken in Play Sports in 2017, will see the digital company become a subsidiary of the factual giant.

Play Sports CEO and founder Simon Wear and the site’s 140 contributors will form a new global cycling-focused division within the factual giant’s operations.

The company was founded in 2012 and operates eight cycling video channels that it claims generate over 45 million video views every month, with 5.7 million social followers and 3.1 million subscribers. Its brands include Global Cycling Network, Global Mountain Bike Network and Global Triathlon Network.

Peter Faricy, CEO, global direct-to-consumer at Discovery, said the deal “accelerates our global direct-to-consumer sports strategy and gives us an unprecedented opportunity to create a single global cycling destination for fans around the world.”

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