Discovery Communications And Scripps Networks In Talks To Merge

20 July 2017, 12:32 | Andres Norman

Monica Schipper Getty Images Discovery CEO David Zaslav

Monica Schipper  Getty Images
Discovery CEO David Zaslav

Shares of Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks Interactive rose in after-hours trading Tuesday following a Wall Street Journal report claiming that the two companies are in talks on a possible merger.

Discovery owns the Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet among others, while Scripps owns HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel.

Discovery, Scripps and Viacom declined to comment. (NASDAQ:SNI) shares were higher on rumors that two major media companies want to buy them. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,849 shares of the company's stock valued at $224,000 after buying an additional 1,162 shares during the period. Discovery Communications, in which John Malone is the dominant shareholder with an over 28 percent stake, is worth about Dollars 15 billion, while family-controlled Scripps is valued at USD 8.8 billion. Shares of both Scripps and Discovery rose sharply in afterhours trading. Global operations for Scripps include multi-channel operator TVN in Poland; UKTV, a joint partnership with BBC Worldwide; Asian Food Channel and Fine Living Network.

The merger of Discovery and Scripps has been a popular combination, given both companies' focus on unscripted content and Discovery's ability to help Scripps expand internationally. "That's already a problem for Discovery, but we think adding Scripps makes it worse". While the main Scripps channels are available on Sling and Hulu, YouTube passed on the channels despite their low affiliate fee structure (less than $1 per month for all three channels).

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Billionaire Shari Redstone and her father Sumner control about 80 percent of the voting stock at Viacom, while cable billionaire John Malone holds a 28 percent voting stake in Discovery, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, according to filings.

Since the beginning of the calendar year, the stock is -6.10%. (NYSE:SNI) shares are seeing unusual volume mid-trading session today.

The report come amid hard times in the cable TV business as more consumers drop their pay TV subscriptions and watch digital video instead. 604.94 million shares or 1.06% more from 598.58 million shares in 2016Q3 were reported.

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