Discovery Teams With Big Producers

Discovery Communications' studio arm said it has development arrangements with producers behind hits such as CBS' "Undercover Boss" and NBC's "Biggest Loser." The studio said it will work with All3Media and Shine Group, respectively, on a nonexclusive basis.

All3Media's Studio Lambert is behind "Undercover Boss" and Shine Group's Reveille is behind the NBC competitive weight-loss hit. Discovery will also work with Australia's WTFN.

Discovery referred to the deals as part of an initiative looking to develop "major content franchises for its global channels business," which operates in 180-plus countries.

All3Media is a UK-based consortium of companies that also includes Lion Television, which is behind Discovery Channel's "Cash Cab." Shine Group, also an amalgam of outfits, was recently acquired by News Corp. It is well-known in the U.S. for its Reveille studio, which produces NBC's "The Office."

WTFN has created shows carried by Discovery's Animal Planet in Canada and an outlet in Germany.

Discovery's international business earns the bulk of its revenues from distribution deals last year -- hitting $760 million, which was up 6%. Advertising is growing rapidly, up 23% to $422 million in 2010.

The U.S. networks earned more in advertising -- $1.22 billion -- than distribution, which was $1.05 billion.



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