This month’s installment of the ‘Discovery: For sale or not?’ saga sees Viacom as the latest DCI suitor. At the Salomon Smith Barney media investor conference in January, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone said he reached out to Liberty Media chairman John Malone to propose a deal to acquire Discovery Communications. However, Malone, whose Liberty Media owns a 49% stake in Discovery, said he’s not ready to sell. Industry insiders say the company is worth over $20 billion. Viacom, which owns MTV, CBS and BET, is only the latest to vie for a piece of the Discovery pie.
In January, RealScreen reported NBC considered merging with Discovery last summer. At that time, David Leavy, senior vice president of communications for Discovery, said the company had also talked with ‘a number of other business partners’. Leavy then said, and reiterates now, that ‘Discovery is not for sale’.