by Sarah Perez
July 31, 2017
Discovery Communications’ $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, announced today, combines two of cable TV’s bigger brands in an era where cord cutting has hit impacted all the major players across the board. The telcos are scrambling to offer live TV streaming bundles in an effort to shore up pay TV subscriber losses, while the networks that had once relied on pay TV distribution to reach viewers are now having to negotiate new packages with the streaming services like Sling TV, Hulu, Sony’s Vue, YouTube TV and others.
This Discovery-Scripps tie-up means the company will be able to better negotiate with both advertisers and distributors going forward, as the new entity will become home to a much larger portfolio of channels. Discovery brings to the table networks like its flagship Discovery Channel as well as Animal Planet and TLC while Scripps offers top cable channels like HGTV, Cooking Channel, and Food Network.
The channels account for 13.2 percent of cable viewership but only 7 percent of monthly cable fees, reports The WSJ.
The combined company will have nearly 20 percent of ad-supported pay TV viewership in the U.S., and will become home to five of the top female networks in ad-supported pay TV with an over 20 percent of women who watch primetime TV in the U.S., the companies said.