Discovery Q3 Revs Boosted By Global Nets, U.S. Segment Dips

Discovery Communications' U.S. operations were the weak segment of an overall strong financial third-quarter result.

Company revenues improved 14% to $1.6 billion, with net income growing 12% to $287 million from $256 million.

International networks carry a lot of upside -- posting a strong 32% to $818 million in revenue.

These results were partly due to Discovery’s acquisition of Eurosport, with advertising 20% higher to $337 million and revenue from distribution up 34% to $430 million. Without Eurosport, international network business was up 10% and advertising revenues were 12% higher.

U.S. networks had a harder time, slipping 1% to $724 million. Affiliate fees were 3% lower to $318 million, with advertising up 1% to $388 million. Discovery now gets more revenues from international networks than U.S. channels.



Discovery's advertising results come from higher pricing and volume -- all to offset lower ratings results. Discovery derives most of its U.S. ratings from three networks: Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet. Discovery averaged 1.3 million prime-time viewers in the third quarter; TLC was at 944,000; and Animal Planet, 612,000.

Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research says many cable networks added advertising inventory to offset weak ratings growth during the period.

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