Discovery sees Q4 earnings shrink

Discovery Communications' revenues for the fourth quarter of 2015 shrank by 2% over the year prior, due primarily to change in foreign currency. (Pictured: president and CEO David Zaslav)
February 18, 2016

Discovery Communications’ revenues for the fourth quarter of 2015 shrank by 2% over the year prior, due primarily to changes in foreign currency.

Fourth quarter net income came in at US$219 million, down from the $250 million posted from the same period one year prior. The company attributed the losses to higher foreign exchange rates, sale of businesses and a higher net income due to non-controlling interests, “partly offset by a decrease in restructuring costs and higher earnings related to equity-method instruments.”

Although the U.S. Networks division grew by more than 6% in the quarter to $787 million from $745 million, Discovery’s International Networks saw revenues offset by an 8% decline to $816 million, falling by 2%, attributable to currency effects. Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization (OIBDA) decreased by 10% to $574 million, as the 1% growth at U.S. Networks were offset by a 20% decline at International Networks.

Discovery’s U.S. Networks saw its revenues for the full year of 2015 swell by 6%, driven by an 11% increase in distribution ($1.3 billion) sales and 3% advertising growth ($1.65 billion). Distribution gains were driven by higher rates and the consolidation of Discovery Family, the company said, while advertising increases were due to higher pricing offset by lower delivery.

Full-year results at the Silver Springs-headquartered company, meanwhile, sat at $6.39 billion, an increase of 2% over 2014′s revenues, as the 6% growth at the U.S. Networks was counterbalanced by a 2% stumble at the International Networks due to changes in foreign currency.

“In 2015, Discovery Communications continued to build momentum with our unmatched worldwide brands and leading multi-platform distribution network. We surpassed three billion cumulative viewers, launched more new networks and increased audience and market share, all of which helped to drive steady global growth and strong financial results,” said David Zaslav (pictured), president and CEO of Discovery Communications, in a statement.

“Propelled by our category leadership, broad rights ownership and content and brand expansion across platforms, Discovery is well positioned to thrive in the rapidly evolving media landscape and to drive continued shareholder value in the years ahead.”

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty