Profile: Discovery Communications Inc (DISCA.O)
11 Mar 2014
Discovery Communications, Inc. (Discovery), incorporated on March 9, 2005, is a global nonfiction media and entertainment company that provide programming across multiple distribution platforms worldwide. It also has a diversified portfolio of Websites and other digital media services, develops and sells curriculum-based education products and services, and provides postproduction audio services. Discovery operates in three segments: U.S. Networks, International Networks and Education and Other. The Company’s U.S. Networks, consists principally of domestic cable and satellite television networks, Websites and other digital media services. Its International Networks consists primarily of international cable and satellite television networks and Websites. It’s Education and other consists principally of curriculum-based education product and service offerings and postproduction audio services. On November 2, 2011, Discovery acquired a non-fiction entertainment production company in the United Kingdom. On December 29, 2011, Discovery acquired a Latin American cable channel. In November 2013, the Company announced it has acquired Espresso Group Limited, provider of primary school digital education content in the United Kingdom. Effective March 3, 2014, Discovery Communications Inc acquired Raw TV Ltd.
Discovery provides original and purchased programming to more than 1.7 billion cumulative subscribers worldwide through networks, that it wholly or partially own. The Company’s global portfolio of networks includes prominent television brands, such as Discovery Channel, one of the nonfiction networks and its distributed global brand, TLC and Animal Planet. Its content spans genres includes science, exploration, survival, natural history, sustainability of the environment, technology, docu-series, anthropology, paleontology, history, space, archaeology, health and wellness, engineering, adventure, lifestyles, forensics, civilizations and current events. It also creates local programming tailored to individual market preferences.
Discovery’s U.S. Networks segment principally consists of national television networks. U.S. Networks generates revenues from fees charged to operators who distribute the network content, which include cable and direct to home (DTH) satellite service providers and digital distributors, and from advertising sold on its television networks and other arrangements. Its U.S. Networks segment also generates revenue to offset expenses associated with providing sales representation and network services to equity method investee networks and the licensing of its brands for consumer products. Its U.S. Networks segment wholly owns and operates nine national television networks, including distributed television networks, Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet. In addition, this segment holds its interests in OWN, The Hub and 3net. During the year ended December 31, 2011, U.S. Networks generated 62% of its total net revenues. During 2011, distribution, advertising, and other revenues were 45%, 51%, and 4%, respectively, of total net revenues for this segment. The Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet collectively generated 72% of U.S. Networks’ total net revenues.
The Company’s U.S. Networks segment owns and operates television networks, which include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, SCIENCE, Military Channel, Planet Green, Discovery Fit & Health and Velocity. Its U.S. Networks segment owns interests in television networks, which includes Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), The Hub and 3net. Its Digital Media business consists of its Websites and mobile and video-on-demand (VOD) services. Its Websites include network branded Websites, such as Discovery.com, TLC.com and AnimalPlanet.com, and other Websites, such as HowStuffWorks.com, Treehugger.com and Petfinder.com. Together, these Websites attracted an average of 24 million cumulative monthly visitors during 2011.
As of December 31, 2011, Discovery Channel reached approximately 100 million subscribers in the United States. Discovery Channel also reached eight million subscribers through a licensing arrangement with partners in Canada as of December 31, 2011. Discovery Channel provides nonfiction content that informs and entertains viewers about the wonder and diversity of the world. The network offers a mix of genres, including science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share. Programs on Discovery Channel include Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs and Gold Rush. Discovery Channel is also home to mini-series, such as Frozen Planet. Discovery Channel is simulcast in high definition (HD).
As of December 31, 2011, TLC reached approximately 99 million subscribers in the United States. TLC also reached approximately eight million subscribers in Canada as of December 31, 2011. TLC features docu-series and reality-based programming about people. Programs on TLC include Cake Boss, Little Couple, What Not to Wear, Police Women, Say Yes to the Dress, Sister Wives and 19 Kids and Counting. As of December 31, 2011, Animal Planet reached approximately 97 million subscribers in the United States. Animal Planet also reaches two million subscribers through a licensing arrangement with partners in Canada as of December 31, 2011. Animal Planet provides a range of programming related to life in the animal kingdom and human interaction with animals. Programs on Animal Planet include River Monsters, Finding Bigfoot, Whale Wars, I Shouldn’t be Alive, Fatal Attractions, Pit Bulls and Parolees and It’s Me or the Dog.
As of December 31, 2011, Investigation Discovery reached approximately 79 million subscribers in the United States. Investigation Discovery offers programming that focuses on mysteries and true stories through series and documentaries that deliver insight into the human condition and the real world of investigations. Programs on Investigation Discovery include On the Case with Paula Zahn, Disappeared, I (Almost) Got Away With It, Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry?, Unusual Suspects, I Married a Mobster and Nightmare Next Door. As of December 31, 2011, SCIENCE reached approximately 69 million subscribers in the United States. SCIENCE provides programming that explores the possibilities of science, from string theory and futuristic cities to accidental discoveries and outrageous inventions. Programs on SCIENCE include Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, An Idiot Abroad, Wonders of the Universe, How It’s Made, Sci Fi Science, Oddities and Punkin Chunkin.
As of December 31, 2011, Military Channel reached approximately 60 million subscribers in the United States. Military Channel also reached approximately one million subscribers in Canada as of December 31, 2011. Military Channel brings viewers real-world stories of heroism, military strategy, battlefield maneuvers, technological breakthroughs, aviation and turning points in history through the personal stories of servicemen and women. Programs on Military Channel include Future Weapons, Showdown: Air Combat, An Officer and a Movie, Greatest Tank Battles and Science of the Elite Soldier. As of December 31, 2011, Planet Green reached approximately 58 million subscribers in the United States. Programs on Planet Green include series and specials that inform, entertain and inspire viewers.
As of December 31, 2011, Discovery Fit & Health reached approximately 49 million subscribers in the United States. Discovery Fit & Health programming includes forensic mysteries, medical stories, emergency room trauma dramas, baby and pregnancy programming, parenting challenges, and stories of extreme life conditions. Programming includes Dr. G: Medical Examiner, I’m Pregnant And., Untold Stories of the ER, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant and Gilad’s Bodies in Motion. As of December 31, 2011, Velocity reached approximately 40 million subscribers in the United States. Velocity showcases premier high definition real world programming in the automotive, sports and leisure, adventure, lifestyle and travel genres, including live auctions, world rally championships, and historical and biographical series. Programs on Velocity include Inside West Coast Customs, Mecum Auto Auctions, Cafe Racer and Chasing Classic Cars.
As of December 31, 2011, OWN (formerly Discovery Health) reached approximately 77 million subscribers in the United States. OWN is a multi-platform venture, including the OWN television network and Oprah.com, designed to entertain people. Programs on OWN include Oprah’s Life Class, The Rosie Show, Our America with Lisa Ling, Oprah’s Master Class, Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s and Oprah’s Next Chapter. As of December 31, 2011, the Hub reached approximately 62 million subscribers in the United States. The Hub features original programming, game shows and live-action series and specials focused on children and their families, including content drawn from Hasbro’s portfolio of entertainment and educational properties. Programs on The Hub include Transformers Prime, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, Pound Puppies and Family Game Night. 3net launched on February 13, 2011, and was available to all DIRECTV subscribers in the United States with third-dimensional (3D) capable television sets as of December 31, 2011. 3net programs 24/7 3D television network in the United States, featuring an library of 3D content in genres, including natural history, documentary, action/adventure, travel, history, kids and family, hyper-reality, lifestyle and cuisine, concerts, movies, and scripted series. Programs on 3net include Scary Tales, Indy 500: The Inside Line, China Revealed, Fields of Valor: The Civil War, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Hubble 3D.
Discovery’s International Networks segment principally consists of national and pan-regional television networks. This segment generates revenues primarily from fees charged to operators who distribute its networks, which primarily include cable and DTH satellite service providers, and from advertising sold on its television networks and Websites. During 2011, International Networks generated 34% of its total net revenues. During 2011, distribution, advertising, and other revenues were 61%, 35%, and 4%, respectively, of total net revenues for this segment. As of December 31, 2011, International Networks operated over 150 distribution feeds in over 40 languages.
The Company’s International Networks segment owns and operates a portfolio of television networks, led by Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, which are distributed in virtually every pay-television market in the world through an infrastructure that includes operational centers in London, Singapore and Miami. In January 1, 2011, its International Networks operated in four regions: Western Europe, which includes the United States and western European countries; Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEEMEA); Latin America; and Asia-Pacific.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s International Networks segment owned and operated the television networks includes Discovery Channel with 213 subscribers, Animal Planet with 166 subscribers, TLC, Real Time and Travel & Living with 150 subscribers, Discovery Science with 66 subscribers, Discovery Home & Health with 48 subscribers, Turbo with 37 subscribers, Discovery World with 27 subscribers, Investigation Discovery with 23 subscribers, HD Services, DMAX with 47 subscribers, Discovery Kids with 37 subscribers, Liv with 29 subscribers, Quest with 23 subscribers, Discovery History with 13 subscribers, Shed with 12 subscribers, Discovery en Espanol (U.S.) with 5 subscribers and Discovery Famillia (U.S.) with four subscribers.
Education and Other
Discovery’s Education and Other segment primarily include the sale of curriculum-based product and service offerings and postproduction audio services. This segment generates revenues primarily from subscriptions charged to K-12 schools for access to an online suite of curriculum-based VOD tools, professional development services, and to a lesser extent student assessment and publication of hardcopy curriculum-based content. The Company’s education business also participates in corporate partnerships, global brand and content licensing business with non-profits, foundations and trade associations. Other businesses primarily include postproduction audio services that are provided to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies, and interactive producers. During 2011, Education and Other generated 4% of its net revenues.
Discovery Communications Inc
1 DISCOVERY PLACE
SILVER SPRING MD 20910
Company Web Links
- Discovery in talks with BSkyB over possible Channel 5 bid: FT
- Discovery in talks with BSkyB over possible Channel 5 bid -FT
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