Revenues were up from $2.3bn for the period in 2018. However, the business’s acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive contributed to a 5% drop in total revenues, as a 3% rise in US networks was offset by a 15% drop in international networks.
Discovery reported net income of $384m, compared to a net loss of $8m reported a year ago. The improvement was a result of higher operating results driven by the Scripps merger, the business said.
Meanwhile, adjusted operating income was $1.2bn, a 63% increase compared to last year. Excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, adjusted operating income grew 67%.
Overall, the quarter saw Discovery strike a 10-year global partnership with the BBC for a Discovery-led factual SVOD. The portfolio also delivered the top four cable networks in the US for women aged 25-54 with ID, TLC, HGTV and Food Network – the two latter channels coming to Discovery via the Scripps acquisition.
Elsewhere, the business launched SVOD service Golf TV internationally, and also struck a JV with Chip and Joanna Gaines that will see a rebrand of DIYNetwork to be unveiled in 2020. Discovery also took a controlling interest in digital cycling platform Play Sports Group.
David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, said: “In the first quarter we delivered a solid start to 2019, as we continue to power people’s passions through our loved brands and our owned global IPin genres that nourish audiences around the world. We are a differentiated media company and have the right strategy, assets, brands, and management team necessary to drive additional shareholder value.”