Discovery’s Zaslav: “We’re not renters”

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Discovery’s President & CEO, David Zaslav took a swipe at the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, telling analysts that the factual – and now sports – producer were not renters of programming.

Speaking on the company’s Q1 Earnings Call, Zaslav said: “We own the vast majority of our content across regions, platforms and formats, and have the flexibility to take it wherever we want.”

Zaslav added that Discovery was also proud that they didn’t just have “viewers” enjoying its content. “We have super-fans, consumers who trust our brands and believe in our talent. And we have families who feel safe and entertained while watching our content.”

He praised how well the integration of the Scripps Networks was going (“dozens of workstreams and around 1000 initiatives”), and Eurosport. “As we collect a greater share of data and insights from each sporting event and season, our dialogue with sports super-fans becomes even sharper, allowing us to better target subscribers for upcoming events, such as cycling and tennis at the moment and ultimately, how to better manage churn from sports that are rolling off.”

Zaslav said that college students were also in its sights. “We don’t have an offering for someone that goes to college. Their only choice is to get Netflix. It’s not sensible that we have all these broadband subscribers, and that the only product that they’re offering now is Netflix.”

He said that Discovery was very much focused on where next. “We’re the leader in sports. We’ve got so much success with the Olympics. We invested in Kids in Latin America where we’re bigger than Disney in Brazil. When we see people fighting over Sky, that looks to us like hey, we’ve been there, we’re in business with Sky, we compete with Sky, we’re bigger than Sky on the content side in Italy, and it looks to us like the market is coming our way.”


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