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Today’s TV Network Deal: Discovery Communications Buys Scripps for $14.6 Billion

August 8th, 2017   ||    by Melanie Brown   ||    No Comments

Last week, Discovery Communications announced its purchase of Scripps Networks in a TV network deal worth $14.6 billion in cash and stock, beating out an offer from rival network group Viacom. Discovery Communications is parent to successful channels like Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, and Cooking Channel.

The acquisition of Scripps will diversify its current network lineup, which includes TLC, OWN, and Animal Planet. In blending networks from both media companies, Discovery has positioned itself to own the premium content on the best-performing networks.

TV: Stronger and More Flexible

Premium programming is paramount for TV content providers these days. The evolution of television consumption has more viewers than ever cutting their set-top box cords, instead choosing subscription-based streaming channels (like Hulu) and skinny bundles (like SlingTV) that offer the most successful networks and shows. The Internet is fast becoming the preferred channel on which to consume content, and TV providers across the board are having to adjust their content and advertising delivery strategies to better access audiences where those audiences want to watch TV.

This particular TV network deal brings more than just popular programming to Discovery. According to a recent article in AdExchanger, the digital endeavors of Scripps and Discovery are well poised to complement each other. Scripps Networks has been a major player on the forefront of digital platforms. It was among the first to utilize Snapchat Discover for content distribution and continues to have a good relationship with the social media platform. Discovery’s recent investments in companies like Group Nine Media and Play Sports Group are also expanding its digital content distribution footprint.

How Can Buyers Respond?

On the television side, buyers would do well to incorporate automated TV buying into their media mix. By utilizing the viewership data available through streaming platforms, audiences can be better targeted and buys can be made more efficiently.

Now that Scripps and Discovery are coming together, they’ll be able to support content distribution across linear TV, digital platforms, and social media. The separation—or possibility of silos—between these big three ad buys is now minimal, so media plans no longer have to be treated as individual entities. Ad buyers can (and must) look at the whole media picture when putting together their content-based strategies and buys.

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