Discovery forks out $14.6bn for co-owner of Dave, Yesterday and Really

Oliver Gill
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UKTV channel Dave broadcasts repeats of popular BBC show Top Gear (Source: Getty)

Scripps Networks, the US TV firm that co-owns channels such as Dave, Really and Gold, has been snapped up by media giant Discovery for $14.6bn (£11.1bn).

Announced earlier today, the combination will dominate the US ad-supported pay-TV market, with a 20 per cent market share.

Scripps owns a number of popular US channels including the Travel Channel and Food Network – which produces shows such as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. And through a joint venture with the BBC it owns UKTV.

Discovery is best known for its self-titled channel, Animal Planet and sports network Eurosport.

Read more: Eurosport just staged a massive coup

The tie-up is expected to deliver $350m of cost savings with the aim of providing a boost to both earnings per share and cash flow within the first year.

UKTV can be accessed through Britain's Freeview network, whereas many of Discovery's channels are delivered through paid-for packages such as Sky or Virgin Media.

“This is an exciting new chapter for Discovery. Scripps is one of the best-run media companies in the world," said Discovery president and chief executive David Zaslav.

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 optimised and monetised across our combined networks, products and services in every country around the world.

The deal is expected to close in early 2018. Scripps shareholders will receive $90 per share a 34 per cent premium to the firm's closing share price on Friday. Of this $63 per share will be in cash with the balance in Discovery shares.

Kenneth W. Lowe, chairman, president and chief executive of Scripps Networks Interactive said: “This agreement with Discovery presents an unmatched opportunity for Scripps to grow its leading lifestyle brands across the world and on new and emerging channels including short-form, direct-to-consumer and streaming platforms.”

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