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Discovery plotting TLC channel UK launch

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BBC iPlayer on TV

© BBC

Discovery Communications will reportedly soon launch lifestyle channel TLC in the UK, as it seeks to offer a female-orientated network on these shores.

Broadcast reports that industry sources have said Discovery is 'stepping up' its plans for TLC UK, including talks with TV platforms and production companies.

The broadcaster, which originally intended to launch TLC here in 2011, has put its head of programming for Western Europe, Dan Korn, in charge of the UK version of the channel.

Broadcast says that Korn is currently in early discussions with indies about making original content for the channel, although no further details are known at this stage.

But multiple sources said that the channel's programming could involve Betty, the Freaky Eaters producer acquired by Discovery last year, along with some new shows being overseen by Julian Bellamy, the former Channel 4 executive who is now Discovery's head of production and development.

According to Broadcast's sources, TLC could launch in the UK on Freeview rather than pay-TV, despite that strategy meaning Discovery will clash with its long-time pay-TV partner Sky.

Discovery could still opt to make TLC a pay-TV channel, but it may have been encouraged by the success in Italy of the free-to-air Real Time network, the local version of TLC.

A Discovery spokeswoman said that the company "does not comment on market speculation and rumour".

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