Following speculation over the last couple of weeks, Discovery Communications has announced it has acquired Scripps Networks Interactive for $14.6 billion.
The deal is a cash and stock transaction and is expected to close by early 2018.
The combined company will produce approximately 8,000 hours of original programming annually, be home to approximately 300,000 hours of library content, and will generate a combined seven billion short-form video streams monthly.
The new company will have nearly 20 per cent share of ad-supported pay-TV audiences in the US and be home to five of the top pay-TV networks for women and account for over 20 per cent share of women watching primetime pay-TV in the US.
Discovery said the acquisition will extend Scripps’ brands, programming and talent to a broader international audience through Discovery’s “best-in-class global distribution, sales and languaging infrastructure”. Discovery said it sees strong opportunities to strengthen its existing global female networks with select content from Food Network, HGTV and all the Scripps brands including Food Network and HGTV.
The transaction is subject to approval by Discovery and Scripps’ shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.
“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,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery Communications.
“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 optimised and monetised across our combined networks, products and services in every country around the world.”