Discovery, one of the world’s most successful pay-TV brands, is set to move from it’s London base and explore new options on the European continent.
A blow for the UK as it starts to come to terms with the potential scale of fallout from the impending Brexit divorce bill, Discovery broadcasts more than 100 TV channels across the EU from its headquarters in west London, including future Olympic games, making it the largest broadcaster in the UK to pump out content for the continent.
Discovery will, however, continue to broadcast channels to UK-specific audiences from within the country, although around 100 jobs are still at risk.
However, a spokeswoman for Discovery suggested that the move had nothing to do with Brexit at all.
She said that: “This is part of our vision to move to a more agile operational technology model. This has nothing to do with Brexit and everything to do with technology innovation being core to our company and brand.”
That’s what they all say…
Despite suggesting that Brexit wasn’t a factor in their thinking, Discovery join a ever-growing list of huge companies that are choosing to ditch their UK bases ever since the EU referendum vote opted to leave the likes of the single market and customs union, shocking world politics and businesses.
Top of the list if consumer goods giant Unilever which is moving its headquarters to Rotterdam, with their CEO Paul Polman also suggesting the seemingly out of the blue decision wasn’t Brexit related.
And the list doesn’t end there, although the UK government has seemed to have stepped in to pre-empt some departures. For example, a £15m deal was struck with Microsoft to help negate and compensate any possible post-Brexit price hike. A deal was seemingly not possible with Diageo though, the brand who owns Smirnoff, Guinness and Baileys, as it near-instantly cut 100 jobs across its Scottish sites.
Goldman Sachs also made a near-immediate announcement that it plans to move away from Britain following Brexit, with Deutsche Bank rumored to have similar departure plans.
But some companies are opting to stay a little closer to home. British band Barclay’s, for example, is moving a bulk of its operations from London to Ireland with 150 new staff to be based from Dublin, whilst start-ups with an international outlook such as export consultancy Go Exporting have opted to make the UK the primary base of their operations.