Shares of Scripps Networks Interactive soared more than 11 percent after the market closed on Tuesday on a news report that Discovery Communications is considering a bid for the sought-after cable company.
Discovery's board discussed making a possible run at Scripps, home to the Food Network and HGTV, according to a report in Variety citing a person with knowledge of the Discovery board meeting.
Representatives for Discovery and Scripps Networks declined to comment.
Discovery's businesses include Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, and it operates Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network under a joint venture.
On the distribution side, the cable industry has been a hotbed of potential merger activity. The latest target is Time Warner Cable, which is being circled by competitors Comcast and Charter.
Shares of Scripps closed at $75.25 in regular trade on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish and Leslie Adler)