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Discovery could be ‘Netflix of Sport’

Discovery CEO David Zaslav discussing results with analysts said that Eurosport’s linear digital rights locker meant it could become ‘a Netflix for sport in Europe.’  Eurosport has the Olympics, and much increased football and tennis rights plus.

Zaslav also referenced the hiring of former BBC iPlayer executive Ralph Rivera. “Ralph joins us from the BBC, where he was responsible for all of the BBC’s digital media services, leading the implementation and operation of BBC iPlayer as it grew by over 300 per cent.”

Discovery has direct-to-consumer  propositions with its Dplay and Eurosport Player service in Europe and Zaslav said it grow the direct to audience business.“We are exploring creating services for science, in the auto space, and for other niche genres in the US and around the world, additional direct-to-consumer opportunities, so our super fans can access our content where they want, on whatever device, whenever they want.”

Discovery produced a disappointing set of international results: “While we faced challenging but expected headwinds this quarter, Discovery is well positioned for long-term growth driven by our well-defined global brands, differentiated content and favourable distribution agreements,” said Zaslav.

International revenues in the quarter to end-September were down 3 per cent at $720 million and OIBDA profit slipped 16 per cent, taking the total to $183 million. Across the first nine months of the year, revenues were down 2 per cent at $2.2 billion, and OIBDA 12 per cent at $699 million.

Over all quarter revenues were fractionally down at $1.56 billion, and profit down 2 per cent at $562 million. In the nine months to end-September revenues and profit were up 2 per cent and 1 per cent respectively at $4.8 billion and $1.8 billion.

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