Discovery’s U.S. network revenue climbs 3%

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav speaks at Investor Day 2015
Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav

Discovery Communications saw its revenues climb during its fiscal fourth quarter thanks in part to U.S. networks’ growth.

U.S. networks' revenues in the fourth quarter increased 3% to $812 million due to 6% distribution growth and 1% advertising growth. Distribution growth came because of higher rates, and advertising growth came because of higher pricing.

Meanwhile, operating expenses at the U.S. networks segment decreased 3% because of lower content amortization, and adjusted OIBDA climbed 9% to $447 million due to higher revenues.

"Discovery's diversified set of nonfiction, sports and kids' entertainment brands, and strong strategic positioning continued to drive attractive distribution agreements, helping to deliver solid operating and financial results in 2016," said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, in a statement. "As we begin 2017, we will continue to invest in our premier global IP and brands to nourish fans across all screens, all platforms and all services to drive shareholder value and propel our business for years to come amid the rapidly changing media landscape."

During Tuesday’s earnings call, Zaslav said that TLC is rebounding, ending January with its highest ratings in three years, and that OWN posted its best year ever in 2016.

RELATED: Discovery Q3 revenue stays flat while Lionsgate deal eats into net income

For the full year, U.S. networks' revenues grew 5% to about $3.3 billion and adjusted OIBDA increased 8% to $1.9 billion.

For the quarter, international networks' revenues stayed relatively flat at $819 million and adjusted OIBDA decreased 12% to $231 million, which the company blamed on foreign exchange rates and higher operating expenses.

In all, Discovery’s fourth-quarter revenues grew 2% year-over-year to $1.67 billion and adjusted OIBDA increased just 1% to $581 million, as U.S. networks income growth was offset by international networks losses. For the full year, Discovery’s revenues grew 2% to about $6.5 billion and adjusted OIBDA increased 1% to $2.4 billion.