Discovery looks at making first European streaming deals

International factual channel operator Discovery Communications is looking to ink its first online streaming deals in Western Europe.

The broadcaster, which announced its second quarter financial results, has a three year deal with online streaming platform Netflix in the United States and is keen to replicate the model internationally.

“So far, we haven’t done any of those deals outside the US. In mature markets, like some of the markets in Western Europe, it’s very possible that we’ll be doing some of those deals because you have a highly penetrated Pay TV market that looks a lot like the US., and the Netflix-type deals become incremental, with, at least at this point, no sense of degradation of viewership,” said Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav.

The company reiterated its international acquisitions plans, with Zaslav saying that building on its international growth is a “key strategic initiative”, following its deal to acquire digital production company Revision3 earlier this year.

“It’s an important hedge. The US has slowed down,” said Zaslav. “But when you can, when you have markets that are underpenetrated, like Turkey and Russia and India and all of Latin America, where we’ve been for so long so strong, to the extent that there are any meaningful opportunities where we can acquire something. And so we have been looking very hard on a lot of things, but we haven’t bought anything yet because we haven’t found anything that’s going to help us grow faster.”

Discovery’s second quarter earnings rose by 15% and the company posted a profit of US$293 million compared to US$254 million last year. Its international business reported an 11% rise in revenues, but global currency fluctuations partially offset top line revenue.

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