Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks Interactive are considering a possible merger, according to a report. No specific financial terms were disclosed, according to The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.
Early morning Wednesday trading had Scripps stock soaring -- 18% higher to $78.71 -- while the Discovery stock price was up 5.6% to $27.52.
Media analysts suggest a possible deal could come in response to fast-moving industry changes, including generally declining subscribers for cable networks in traditional pay TV packages, as well as bigger and more powerful pay TV distributors.
In recent years, Charter Communications bought Time Warner Cable and AT&T acquired DirecTV.
Discovery and Scripps combined would have some 20 networks.
The two big cable network groups considered a merger back in 2014. Back then, Discovery was pushing an aggressive agenda to boost its international network business.
Legendary cable TV executive and investor John Malone is a major shareholder in Discovery Communications. Malone is chairman of Liberty Media Corp; the company also has stakes in Charter Communications, Starz, and Lionsgate.