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
The week’s top TBI stories:
- Discovery bought Scripps for US$14.6 billion
- Lionsgate poached Disney’s 22-year veteran Goetz
- Studiocanal’s Katrina Neylon exited as Beatriz Campos became sales head
- Netflix expanded investment in Latin America and India
- Fremantle hired Neylon as its global content head