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TBI Weekly: Discovery realises Scripps dream

Discovery Communications HQDiscovery Communications’ US$14.6 billion takeover of US rival Scripps was the big TV news of the last seven days.

Discovery buys Scripps

 

It had been known that Scripps Networks Interactive had been seeking a buyer for a while, and Discovery and Viacom had emerged as its two suitors.

Discovery always seemed the best fit for the Food Network owner, and a cash-and-stock deal that handed Scripps’ shareholders a 34% premium ultimately won out.

That means Food Network, Travel Channel and HGTV will join Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet in the Silver Spring-based cable group.

Discovery CEO and president David Zaslav subsequently said he isn’t yet finished on the acquisitions market, and other, smaller deals could follow.

Commentators are divided on the Scripps deal, with some saying it will hand Discovery leverage in carriage negotiations and better potential skinny bundle offers, while others have characterised it as two traditional broadcasters joining forces to create an even bigger, traditional broadcaster as digital rivals take more daring risks.

 

Also in the news…

 

Gene George swapped his job at Starz for the premium cable channel’s new parent, Lionsgate, which also hired Disney veteran Jared Goetz and reportedly saw talks with Hasbro over a takeover agreement fail

Netflix ordered new Asian and Latin American originals, including its first Chinese series

Sony Pictures posted improved financial results and bought Japanese distributor Funimation

CNBC has commissioned a local version of ITV’s British employment-meets-reality format The Job Interview

Viacom International Media Networks secured a batch of VOD, channel and app deals in Europe, Africa and the Middle East

UKTV took second window rights to a number of Jamie Oliver-themed series from Channel 4 Distribution

Comunidad Filmin in Spain and RTP in Portugal took rights to All3Media International’s UK drama Ackley Bridge, which took strong ratings on Channel 4 in June

 

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