Discovery Communications is increasing its share repurchase program after posting strong second quarter financial results, which saw revenues up 11% and pre-tax operating income up 12%.
The U.S. network posted second quarter revenues of US$1.07 billion, up $104 million (11%) on the second quarter a year ago. The increase was led by 20% growth at the company’s International Networks division, and 6% growth at its U.S. Networks division.
Meanwhile, operating income before depreciation and amortization grew 12% to $510 million, driven by a 31% increase at International Networks and a 4% increase at U.S. Networks. Net income increased to $254 million.
Off the back of the numbers, Discovery announced a $1 billion increase in its share repurchase program. Discovery Communication’s president and CEO David Zaslav said: “Our growth this past quarter was achieved despite continued strategic investments to further our competitive advantage both domestically and internationally.
“Bolstering our flagship networks, building additional growth assets across the company and leveraging the unparalleled distribution platform we built over the last 25 years remain our top priorities.”
In programming news, Discovery has unveiled details for Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero, a six-hour special airing over two weeks from August 25. Exec produced by acclaimed director Steven Spielberg and made by DreamWorks Television and KPI Productions, the series showcases the men and women constructing the new 104-story One World Trade Center at Ground Zero in New York.
The series will premiere on Discovery Channel on August 25 at 8 p.m. EST, airing commercial-free. An all-day marathon will repeat on sister channel Science on September 11, beginning at 5 p.m. EST.
“With incredible access and deft storytelling, Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero captures a city and a country moving forward but never forgetting,” said Debbie Myers, general manager of Science. “September 11 is something we all share and Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero will be a touchstone for audiences to remember, reflect and look forward.”