Discovery buys Fox Health

Fox is out of the health business. After months of existing in limbo following the exit of partner WebMD, The Health Network has been sold to Discovery Communications.
September 6, 2001

Discovery Health’s major competitor is now part of the same team. The Health Network, originally a joint venture between Fox and Atlanta-based healthcare information company WebMD, has been sold to Discovery Communications. In exchange for the channel, Fox will receive US$155 million from DCI and a 10% equity stake in the Discovery Health Channel, including any of its worldwide channels.

The fate of The Health Network has been up in the air since January, when WebMD sold its 50% stake back to News Corp (Fox’s parent company). At the time, Jeff Shell, president and CEO of Fox, said Fox was considering selling, though it seemed more likely that the channel would be kept and retooled.

Discovery has not yet announced its plans for The Health Network, saying only that it plans to maximize the investment for both distributors and the Discovery Health Channel.

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