Discovery is to buy Scripps Networks for £11.1bn ($14.6bn).

The deal between the rival pay-TV companies together channels including Discovery’s Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and Eurosport with Scripps’s HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network. Scripps also runs UKTV as a joint venture with BBC Worldwide.

Both companies have become important clients for UK producers, and both have a significant presence in the UK.

The combined company will produce approximately 8,000 hours of original programming annually, and be home to approximately 300,000 hours of library content
David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications said: “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 said that the two companies combined will have nearly 20% share of ad-supported pay-TV audiences in the U.S.
The deal is expected to create significant cost savings, estimated at approximately $350 million.

Viacom had been mooted as a potential buyer of Scripps in recent weeks, but reportedly dropped out of the bidding last week.

Staff Reporter

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