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Scripps: ‘TVN deal makes us major global player’

Scripps Networks Interactive’s majority buyout of Polish broadcaster TVN is on track to close in the third quarter, allowing Scripps to expand its brands and footprint in the region.

Burton JablinSpeaking on Scripps’ earnings call last week, Scripps Networks president Burton Jablin (pictured) said that the TVN deal “really puts Scripps Networks on the map as a major player in the global marketplace”.

“Our most significant investment [internationally], the pending TVN acquisition, is undergoing regulatory review. So far, it’s progressing without any issues, and we continue to expect the deal to close in third quarter,” he said.

Also speaking on the call, Scripps Networks Interactive’s president and CEO Kenneth Lowe said that a lot of the experience that Scripps has gained from its partnership with BBC Worldwide in the UK – where the pair jointly own UKTV – informed its thinking in relation to TVN.

“First and foremost, our goal continues to be with international to really expand in our categories: home, food and travel. That’s our global strategy and will continue to be. But this was a very unique and special opportunity; one that very much mirrors how we’ve grown and how we’ve created our own content in a controlled environment,” said Lowe.

Expanding on the comments, Scripps’ chief development officer, Joseph NeCastro, said that the TVN deal “does take us away from our lifestyle roots”, but claimed that Scripps had already made a similar step with its investment in UKTV.

“It’s a strong platform to allow Scripps to expand both our content and our brands in a new footprint. Both at TVN but, if you think broadly, in the Polish market and then hopefully in the region. It will allow us to establish another hub in Europe from which we can operate and hopefully expand,” said NeCastro.

Scripps announced in March that it will take a 52.7% majority stake in TVN for an all-cash consideration of €584 million (US$651 million).

TVN’s portfolio of free-to-air and pay TV channels includes flagship commercial channel TVN and thematic channels TVN 7, TVN Style, TTV, TVN Turbo, 24-hour news channel TVN24 and business news channel TVN24 Biznes i Swiat.