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Discovery earnings up in Q4 following Scripps acquisition

American mass media company Discovery, Inc. reported a strong fourth quarter for 2018 today (Feb. 26), with a 51% increase in revenues over last year as the company integrated the ...
February 26, 2019

American mass media company Discovery, Inc. reported a strong fourth quarter for 2018 today (Feb. 26), with a 51% increase in revenues over last year as the company integrated the newly-acquired Scripps Networks Interactive.

The acquisition of SNI had previously had a negative impact on Discovery earnings, associated with higher restructuring and other charges associated with the integration of the company, the acquisition of which was finalized in March 2018.

Despite the overall increase, the company — which primarily operates factual TV networks, including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, TLC, HGTV, Food Network and more — saw revenues decreased 2%, when excluding the impact of acquisitions of Scripps Networks and a controlling share of OWN, as well as foreign currency fluctuations.

Net income for Q4 was US$269 million, compared to the $1.1 billion loss recorded in Q4 of 2017. The increase was largely attributed to the integration of Scripps Networks, partially offset by higher restructuring and other charges, higher tax expenses and higher interest expense.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter amounted to $2.8 billion, as compared to $1.9 billion, year over year. $1.7 billion of that came from U.S. networks, which were up 93% from last Q4 2017 ($892 million), representing the largest growth at Discovery. In contrast, revenue from education plummeted 96% ($2 million), due to the sale of the education business in April.

Year-end operational highlights included the completion of Discovery’s acquisition and integration of Scripps, broadcasting of the Olympic Games in Europe, partnering with the PGA Tour on a new golf network, and establishing streaming partnerships with German broadcaster ProSieben, and Hulu and Sling TV in the U.S.

Yearly total revenue was $10.6 billion, up 54% from 2017.

“2018 was a transformational year for Discovery, highlighted by our operational accomplishments, our strong progress in synergy generation and our overall solid financial performance, as we continued powering people’s passions around the world,” said David Zaslav (pictured), president and CEO of Discovery, in a statement. “Discovery is a differentiated global content company, and we are optimistic that we will continue to build on all of our operating momentum to drive additional shareholder value into the future.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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