Television Business International

Scripps gears up for European HGTV launches

Scripps has identified a “substantial opportunity” for HGTV in Europe, and said that the global rollout of the channel is a “key priority”.

Kenneth LoweSpeaking on the company’s second quarter earnings call, Scripps CEO Kenneth Lowe said that the company would make more announcements about Home and Garden Television in Europe in “the coming months”.

This follows the launch of HGTV in New Zealand in June and its debut last month in the Middle East and North Africa region in partnership with local pay TV operator BeIN Media Group.

Discussing Scripps’ International Networks segment more generally, Lowe said that Polish broadcaster TVN has been a “transformative acquisition” that has turned this division into a “growing and profitable endeavour”.

“Today, our international networks, including our TVN portfolio, are distributed in more than 175 countries and territories around the world and broadcast in 29 languages, all on our way to 300 million cumulative subscribers,” said Lowe.

Scripps added that UKTV achieved a 10% share of commercial impacts for the first time in its history.

Unlike its main competitor, Discovery Communications, Scripps said that no impact is currently being seen from the UK’s ‘Brexit’ decision to leave the EU. Discovery outlined the Brexit impact on its business last week.

Scripps International Networks’ operating revenues for Q2 were US$147.0 million compared with $22.1 million a year earlier. International Networks’ operating income was US$18.6 million, compared to a Q2 2015 operating loss of $13.1 million, while adjusted segment profit was US$37.4 million, compared with adjusted segment losses of $10.1 million last year –primarily due to the inclusion of TVN.

US Networks advertising revenue was up 8.9% to US$541.0 million. However, distribution revenues for US Networks decreased by 3.6% to US$196.1 million and Scripps said that “continued erosion in subscribers across the industry also impacted revenue”.

Overall Scripps reported consolidated operating revenues of US$892.8 million, a 21.9% increase from last year.