Discovery Revs Hit 9% Rise, Led By International

Although Discovery Communications’ U.S. networks were down in key prime-time viewers in its first-quarter financial reporting period, domestic advertising edged up 1%.

Todd Juenger, VP/senior analyst, U.S. media at Sanford C. Bernstein, called this the “good guys” data.

Domestic advertising added 1% to get to $375 million, against an estimated 6% decline in prime-time 18-49 viewers in Nielsen C3 measurement, according to Juenger. He notes that overall viewers for all Discovery networks gained 2% in the period during prime time -- with the big Discovery Channel growing 10%.

The bad news? “Organic international distribution growing only 6% (down from 8% in previous quarter), which is troubling because it calls into question the sustainability of emerging market subscriber growth,” he writes.



Revenue from international networks was up 10% to $735 million -- 17% more from affiliate fees to $396 million but down 1% to $312 million from advertising sales. The company says advertising revenues, excluding Eurosport, were up 12% in local currency terms.

U.S. networks grew 6% at $425 million, with domestic affiliate fees continued strong -- 13% higher to $362 million, a bit above  estimates.

Overall, Discovery Communications had 9% improved revenues to $1.54 billion with net income was 9% higher to $250 million.

Mid-day trading of Discovery was up 0.5% to $33.55.

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