Discovery Isn’t Preparing A Bid For Scripps Networks, Although It’s Intrigued

Talk about a Discovery-Scripps Networks deal appears to be premature. Discovery execs are engaged in what-if conversations about the idea of bidding for the owner of HGTV and discoverycomm1Food Network. But the company hasn’t prepared an offer, and doesn’t have … Read More »

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Will Discovery Make A Play For Scripps Networks?

Investors are excited by a report in Variety that says the matter was discussed at a Discovery board meeting today. Scripps Networks shares are up 15.6% in post-market trading to $87, Scripps Networks logowhich would be a new high … Read More »

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Discovery Includes TV Everywhere Rights In Carriage Deal With Time Warner Cable

This is a surprise: Discovery has been slow to grant streaming rights to its programming, waiting to see how much extra distributors would be willing to pay — and when Nielsen would begin to measure viewing on iPads and other … Read More »

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Discovery Earnings Continued To Grow In Q3 With Help From International Networks

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 4:23am PDT

Investors will be looking at the international numbers; Q3 was the first full quarter in which Discovery owned Scandinavian TV and radio company SBS Nordic. And at first glance it looks like things were OK for the company’s overseas … Read More »

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Discovery Orders Mafia Drama Series

By | Monday October 14, 2013 @ 3:49pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Discovery Communications has picked up The Five Families, a scripted series from Irwin Winkler and Nicholas Pileggi (Goodfellas). Written by Pileggi, the project is based on the real figures and actual events in the history of the … Read More »

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Kevin Bennett Given More Duties At Discovery’s ID, Military And Destination America Channels

By | Wednesday October 9, 2013 @ 10:29am PDT

Kevin Bennett has been promoted to general manager, Investigation Discovery and Military Channel, and EVP programming, ID, Military Channel and Destination America. He will continue to report to  Henry Schleiff, Group President ID, Military Channel and Destination America. From the announcement: Read More »

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Mipcom Briefs: ‘Gomorrah’ Miniseries; Discovery’s ‘Man Up’; ‘Mr Selfridge’; Zig Zag

BetaFilm debuted Sky Italia crime series Gomorrah on Sunday here at Mipcom. Based on the book by Roberto Saviano, the 12-hour series has secured deals with Sky Germany, HBO Nordic, HBO Latin America, Arrow Film in the UK and Lumiere for the Netherlands. Other negotiations are ongoing. Gomorrah is produced by Sky, Cattleya and Fandango in collaboration with La7 and Beta Film. The drama delves into the Camorra, the inner sanctum of organized crime in Naples. Saviano’s book was also the basis for Matteo Garrone’s 2008 Cannes Grand Jury Prize-winner Gomorrah. Stefano Sollima directs six of the episodes of the miniseries which is still in production. Claudio Cupellini and Francesca Comencini helm the remaining episodes. Read More »

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TLC To Debut Two Series About People Trying to Leave FLDS Church

By | Wednesday September 25, 2013 @ 12:04pm PDT

Discovery Communications’ TLC today announced it had ordered two new projects that take viewers into “the hidden world of the FLDS church.”  One is about about insiders trying to leave the church; the second follows an outsider who helps people break away. A sneak peek at the first, called Breaking the Faith, will air within the season finale of TLC’s Breaking Amish: LA, AMISH: LA this Sunday, September 29.

TLC’s announcement:

The FLDS religion remains one of the most secretive communities in America, a world of unquestioned authority, arranged marriage, and little contact to the outside world. Often in the headlines for its extreme beliefs and behaviors, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints continues to be led by its president – and self-described prophet – Warren Jeffs, despite his 2011 conviction on two felony counts of child sexual assault. With an estimated 10,000 followers of the church, no series has fully explored the experiences of individuals who choose to leave the compound – until now.

This fall, TLC premieres two new series that take viewers on a remarkable exploration of faith, fear, and strength, while providing very different perspectives: from insiders as they leave the faith, and from the outsider as they help people break away. The first, BREAKING THE FAITH, follows several young men and women who escape the community to start new lives. Then, ESCAPING THE PROPHET documents the efforts of former FLDS member Flora Jessup as she helps families flee the compound.

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Discovery International CEO Mark Hollinger Says He’ll Resign Next Year

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 5:55am PDT

Silver Spring, Md. (September 18, 2013) – Discovery Communications today announced that Discovery Networks International President & CEO Mark Hollinger has announced his resignation, effective June, 2014. Hollinger is responsible for the strategic development and daily operations for a division that distributes 42 entertainment brands, in 45 languages, to more than 1.6 billion cumulative subscribers in 224 countries and territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

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Discovery Reality Show Chopper Crash Due To “Cost-Cutting Measures”, Says New Lawsuit

By | Thursday August 29, 2013 @ 6:47pm PDT

Citing a concern with the bottom line over safety, the widow and children of a Special Forces vet killed in February while filming a military-themed Discovery Channel show took its parent company to court this week in a wrongful death and negligence suit. Grisel Donatelli, Amanda Donatelli and Dominic Donatelli named Discovery Communications, producers Eyeworks USA, Bongo Inc, Van Nuys Copters, Crossbow Helicopters and Orbic Air and others in the complaint (read it here) filed late Thursday in LA Superior Court. Cast member Michael Donatelli, cameraman Darren Rydstrom and pilot David Gibbs died in the early morning of February 10 when the helicopter the trio was in crashed in an open field at the Polsa Rosa Ranch in Acton.

Related: Three Killed During Discovery Channel Reality Show Filming 

The new complaint alleges this accident and others like it occurred in part because Discovery and other defendants wanted to save a buck and increase their profits. “Discovery, Discovery Talent, Eyeworks, Bongo and Does 51 through 100 and each of them, also have had an extensive history of knowingly failing to provide adequate safety measures for the filming of reality series such as this one,” the filing says. “These safety problems were the result of cost-cutting measures aimed at increasing profits as a result of conscious disregard of the additional, unacceptable safety risks imposed. These safety problems have resulted in injuries and death in the filming of such television series, and have continued to do so following the death of Decedent Donatelli,” it adds. Read More »

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Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Becomes Profitable Faster Than Execs Predicted

Discovery CEO David Zaslav says that OWN beat his forecast that it would begin to generate cash in the second half of this year. He told analysts this morning, in his Q2 report, that Discovery’s joint venture with Oprah Winfrey is “now cash flow positive and starting to … Read More »

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Discovery Trims 2013 Financial Forecast As Q2 Earnings Miss Expectations

By | Tuesday July 30, 2013 @ 4:19am PDT

This was a complicated quarter: In April Discovery closed its $1.7B acquisition of SBS Nordic, the Scandinavian TV and radio company. Even so, investors had high expectations for the company that the Q2 numbers out this morning missed. Net … Read More »

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Sony And TV Stations See Biggest Gains Among Media Stocks In Q2

Investors who bet on media should have warm memories from Q2. The Dow Jones U.S. Media Index rose 6.0% in the quarter vs. the Standard and Poor’s 500 which was +2.4%. Sony led the Big Media pack … Read More »

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Internet Perma-Kitten Lil Bub Partners With Discovery’s Revision3 For Cat Talk Show

By | Friday June 21, 2013 @ 7:22am PDT

Perma-Kitten TV ShowHollywood is going to the… cats. Cranky-faced kitty Grumpy Cat recently landed a movie deal with Broken Road’s Todd Garner and Sean Robins, and now “perma-kitten” Lil Bub is also expanding her brand. … Read More »

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Discovery Sued For Wrongful Death In Reality TV Pilot Stunt

By | Friday June 14, 2013 @ 8:51am PDT

A pyrotechnics stunt gone fatally wrong last year during production on a Discovery Channel pilot has resulted in a wrongful death suit filed this week. “As a direct result of Discovery’s negligence and negligence in using, or authorizing the use of, pyrotechnic devices during the production of the “Brothers in Arms” pilot, Terry Flannel was killed,” says a complaint (read it here) filed yesterday in Colorado federal court by Flannel’s family against Discovery Communications. The six-claim complaint seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages in excess of $75,000 for the incident on June 14, 2012 during the filming of what was to be the opening sequence of the WWI-themed show. Read More »

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Discovery’s Revision3 Buys Philip DeFranco’s YouTube Ventures

By | Thursday May 30, 2013 @ 5:58am PDT

San Francisco, Calif. – Revision3 announced today that it has acquired Internet video icon Philip DeFranco’s portfolio of online video channels and ventures, DeFranco Creative. As part of the acquisition, DeFranco, the wildly popular YouTube host and producer, will himself become part of the Revision3 programming leadership team as Senior Vice President, Phil DeFranco Networks and Merchandise. A voice of a generation and one of the largest producers of Revision3 content, DeFranco is the force behind such popular shows and channels as The Philip DeFranco Show, SourceFed and The Vloggity. Today’s announcement comes as Discovery Communications just finished celebrating the one-year anniversary of its acquisition of Revision3 with record audience and stream growth and demonstrates the company’s ability to attract and develop the Internet’s top talents.

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In A Subtle Shift, Discovery CEO Says OWN Will Be Profitable This Year

Up to now the company promised that its joint venture network with Oprah Winfrey would break even on a cash flow basis in the second half of 2013. But CEO David Zaslav slightly raised the stakes this morning, promising those attending Sanford C. Bernstein’s Strategic Decisions Conference that “we’ll be making money on OWN.” The channel — which stumbled out of the gate in 2011 — is “ahead of where we thought it would be” and “finding enormous success for us.” For example, on Saturday night, when it runs original programming without Winfrey, “we’re the No. 1 network for African American women.” The comment buttressed Zaslav’s broader argument that the pay TV business is in good shape, and Discovery is doing especially well in that environment. Zaslav is unfazed by the seemingly growing number of consumers who say that they’re fed up with rising pay TV rates, and want distributors to offer channels a la carte or on low-priced tiers. “This is a very sturdy system,” he says. “Viewers really enjoy the basic package…I don’t see that being challenged.” Read More »

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Discovery’s Revision3 Launches Science-Themed Web Channel: TestTube

By | Thursday May 23, 2013 @ 6:49am PDT

San Francisco, Calif. – Discovery Communications and Revision3 announced today the launch of TestTube, a digital video network designed to ignite online audiences who are incurably curious about the world around them. TestTube debuts with a robust slate of 15 short-form series and many more in development, and hosted by some of the Internet’s top personalities. TestTube is available at TestTube.com, and through Revision3’s mobile site and apps, YouTube, Xbox and additional distribution partners.

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Discovery Q1 Earnings Rise But Slightly Miss Forecasts

By | Tuesday May 7, 2013 @ 4:23am PDT

The numbers are OK, but investors may be cranky: This is the third time in a row that Discovery Communications‘ earnings have fallen short of the Street’s projections. The company reported Q1 net income of $231M, +3.6% vs the period last year, on revenues of $1.16B, +6.5%. The top line is a little ahead of the $1.15B that analysts anticipated. But earnings at 64 cents a share are a penny shy of the consensus forecast. Revenues for the U.S. networks were up just 1% to $686M. The segment suffered in comparison to last year when it benefited from a slug of cash from streaming services. Distribution revenues were down 9% year-over-year. Yet many may be surprised to see ad sales up 8%; some analysts expected to see a number closer to 10%. All told, the adjusted cash flow for the U.S. networks fell 5% to $377M. International was a different story with revenues up 17% to $444M, and adjusted cash flow +8% to $184M. Discovery projects that it will end this year with as much as $5.7B in revenue and as much as $1.3B in net income available to shareholders. Read More »

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