Discovery Communications reports profit decline, rising revenue for Q1

The global non-fiction media company has seen its year-on-year net income decline after factoring in costs and expenses from OWN, but is also reporting a 16% increase in revenue. (Pictured: Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav)
May 8, 2012

Discovery Communications has reported a year-on-year decline in net income for Q1, while also seeing a 16% increase in revenue for the same period.

First quarter net income from continuing operations fell from US$305 million last year to $221 million. In its statement, the company said “strong operating performance in the current year was more than offset by a gain of $102 million, net of tax, in the first quarter of 2011 from the contribution of the Discovery Health network to the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network joint venture.”

The company added that the results “also reflect that during the quarter the Company began recording 100% of OWN’s net losses in other expense, net, as accumulated operating losses at OWN exceeded the equity contributed to OWN.”

The company saw a 16% increase in first quarter revenues, from $951 million to $1.1 billion. U.S. networks ad revenues for the quarter rose from $290 million to $329 million, an increase of 13%, while year-on-year distribution revenues for U.S. nets rose 23% to $337 million. For international networks, ad revenues rose 22% year-on-year to $124 million, and distribution revenues climbed 14% to $239 million.

“Discovery is off to a great start in 2012 with strong first quarter results that built upon the consistent financial and operating momentum we generated throughout 2011,” said Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav. “Viewers around the world are spending more time with our networks than ever before, and we are leveraging the demand for our programming across a worldwide ad market that remains healthy.

“The universal appeal of our content is also providing us further opportunities to capitalize on developing distribution systems and an evolving global pay-tv landscape,” he added. “Investing in our brands to maximize the potential of our unique distribution platform, as well as emerging opportunities, remains a priority, and we are focused on doing so while delivering sustained growth and returning capital to shareholders.”

About The Author
Justin Anderson joined Realscreen as senior staff writer in 2021, reporting and writing stories for the newsletter and magazine. During his 20-year career he’s filled a variety of roles as a writer and editor at a number of media organizations, covering news and current affairs as well as business, tech, the film and music industries and plenty in between. He’s also spent time behind the scenes in television production, having written everything from voiceover scripts for documentaries to marketing copy. He has a degree in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).