Discovery Communications has completed its takeover of SBS Nordic, rebranding it as SBS Discovery Media and putting Henrik Ravn in charge of it, as president and MD.
The news comes after the U.S. giant acquired the SBS portfolio – comprising 12 TV networks plus a number of radio stations and digital brands – from the ProSiebenSat.1 Group in a US$1.7 billion deal last December.
That portfolio has now been merged with Discovery’s existing Nordic networks to form the new division.
“The formation of SBS Discovery Media solidifies Discovery’s long-term growth in some of the most well-penetrated and stable TV markets in the world, while also expanding Discovery’s brand portfolio by adding scripted entertainment programming to the company’s suite of genres,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, in a statement.
“This acquisition, along with the recent announcement of Discovery’s equity stake in Eurosport, is a continuation of a 25-year strategy of investing internationally to build the most extensive global footprint in media and extending our presence in key markets to support long-term growth and diversify the company’s offerings.”
Along with the closing of the transaction, Discovery named Ravn as president and MD of the newly combined SBS Discovery Media business. Ravn has led the SBS Nordic business since 2009.
“Discovery is fortunate to add Henrik Ravn, a strong and experienced leader, to our international team,” said Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International.
“Henrik’s proven ability and knowledge of the market, along with the expertise and creativity of the entire team at SBS, will be a tremendous asset for the company as we continue to grow our networks and businesses in the Nordic region and strengthen Discovery’s leadership position around the world.”
Ravn added: “I am confident that the combination of Discovery’s leading factual content, along with SBS’s mix of locally produced entertainment programs, sports and the best scripted series and movies from major studios, provides a well-rounded and complementary suite of viewing options for consumers across all demographics, as well as additional scale and reach for advertising and affiliate partners throughout the region.”
Rounding out the SBS Discovery Media senior management team will be Christian Kemp as CEO of Denmark, Jonas Sjögren as CEO of Sweden and Finland, Harald Strømme as CEO of Norway, Hans van Rijn as business development director, Eivind Landsverk as programming and content director, and Quinton Holland as chief financial officer.
Discovery also added that Jan Andreassen, the leader of Discovery’s Nordic business, will serve “as a key member of the integration team, working closely with Ravn and the rest of senior management to counsel on operational and strategic issues for the combined entity.”
Finally, Darren Campbell will serve as VP of human resources.
Discovery brands in the Nordic region include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Science, Investigation Discovery, Discovery World, Discovery HD Showcase and Animal Planet HD.