Discovery said adjusted operating income climbed 23% to $311 million on 11% revenue gains, to $845 million. On a net income basis, the company rose to $134 million from $7 million in the period before.
Advertising revenue was 5% improved, but could have gone higher if not for lower ratings at TLC and Discovery Channel. Overall U.S. networks' revenue in the third quarter increased 6% to $498 million, primarily driven by distribution and advertising revenue growth. Distribution revenue climbed 8%, largely from higher rates.
Concerning the slowing advertising market, David Zaslav, chief executive officer of Discovery Communications, said: "The scatter market is slowing down. In the first quarter, we have seen some take back [in terms of upfront cancellations]. Internationally, we have already felt the pinch in Europe. But we haven't really felt the [full] punch of it yet."
International networks' revenue for the third quarter increased 16% to $300 million--with 22% distribution revenue growth, primarily from subscriber increases.
Digital revenue for Discovery is expected to be in the $50 million range for the year. Company officials say the business is not profitable right now.