Advanced Television

Discovery mulls Scripps bid

December 11, 2013

By Colin Mann

Reports have emerged in the US that Discovery Communications is considering a bid for non-fiction television specialist Scripps Networks Interactive.

The Scripps family trust that controlled the company ended in 2012, increasing the possibility of a takeover. Scripps Networks Interactive was spun off from publisher E.W. Scripps in 2008.

Discovery has aggressively expanded overseas lately, acquiring ProSiebenSat.1 Media’s Nordic assets for $1.7 billion earlier in 2012 and taking a a 20 per cent stake in sports network Eurosport for $221.6 million in a December 2012 deal with French broadcaster TF1 encompassing the building of a three-tier strategic alliance across Eurosport, four pay-TV channels and production.

Scripps acquired a 50 per cent stake in the UKTV bouquet of channels from UK cable MSO Virgin Media in August 2011. News mid-October 2012 of the loosening of the family trust’s interest in the company gave rise to takeover speculation at the time.

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