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Discovery announces TLC launches, preps international acquisitions

Discovery is launching the TLC channel in Sweden, Denmark and Romania next year. The news came as chief executive David Zaslav announced it was looking to acquire companies outside of the US.

Discovery had previously announced that it would launch female skewing channel TLC in Russia at the start of 2011 as it looks to have the network in 75 countries by the end of next year, reaching 100 million households.

“We’re looking ahead to Romania in January, Sweden in February and Denmark in the second quarter,” said chief operating officer Peter Liguori. “We’re aggressively looking to grow distribution by fourth quarter of 2011.”

The news comes as Discovery Communications announced an increase in its third quarter revenues of 11%, taking the total to US$926 million. The company saw revenues at its international networks, which include Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and ID, grow from US$276 million to US$304 million over the year. The main growth driver was advertising revenue, Discovery said.

Chief executive David Zaslav told analysts on its third quarter conference call that it was eyeing international acquisitions.

“The first place that we look is outside the US. Because we’re so strong in Latin America and Asia and India, throughout Europe, because we have real operating teams all around the world, we think we have a really unique advantage because we would have some synergy if can make the right kind of acquisition,” he said. “I was just in Europe two weeks ago. I’m going again to Europe for a week next week. And those are opportunities, if we could find some assets that we think can help us grow faster.”