Discovery Communications has agreed to shell out $14.6 billion in both cash and stock for Scripps Networks Interactive, creating a cable channel powerhouse that could be better equipped to thrive in a rapidly changing pay-TV world, the two companies announced on Monday.
The combination joins some of cable television’s most popular channels including Discovery’s namesake network, Science, OWN and TLC with Scripps’ HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network, among others. And it’s another big deal in a string of major transactions, headlined by AT&T’s $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, as companies stake claims on premium content in a shifting and increasingly competitive distribution landscape.
“This is an exciting new chapter for Discovery. Scripps is one of the best run media companies in the world with terrific assets, strong brands and popular talent and formats. Our business is about great storytelling, authentic characters and passionate super fans. We believe that by coming together with Scripps, we will create a stronger, more flexible and more dynamic media company with a global content engine that can be fully optimized and monetized across our combined networks, products and services in every country around the world,” Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said.