Discovery plots big new streaming video service in U.S.

Food Network Kitchen
Discovery Inc. recently launched Food Network Kitchen. (Discovery Inc.)

Discovery may soon be launching a big, new streaming video service that combines content from across its portfolio, including Discovery Channel, HGTV and other networks.

During the company’s third quarter earnings call, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said his company is considering a new aggregated streaming service that offers all its content in the U.S. Discovery already has its TV Everywhere apps and some subscription streaming services operating in the U.S., but now the company is talking about a unified streaming service with all its intellectual property.

“More to come on that in the next several months, but it feels very good to us right now in terms of our niche strategy with passion and depth, view and do, our strategy in Europe of aligning with the other big players…,” said Zaslav. “And finally, with all the success we’re having here in the U.S., we’re saying ‘Hey, maybe why not? It looks like we have the most compelling content and the deepest library of anybody.’”

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Zaslav clarified that Discovery’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategy will begin looking at how to offer all its content on a broader basis, and “mount an attack on those that are not existing cable subscribers. That’s what everyone is looking to do and needs to do; take the great IP and reach everyone. We want everyone to watch our content.”

RELATED: Q&A: Discovery exec discusses Food Network Kitchen’s interactive elements

He also said that expanding Discovery’s DTC reach won’t include partnering with an existing streaming platform.

Discovery also said it has invested in building a uniform and unified platform for its direct-to-consumer streaming services, both present and future, which Zaslav said will make it very “easy to just jump on.” That platform includes interactive elements and commercial opportunities, which are currently being used with the company’s recently launched Food Network Kitchen.

Peter Faricy, head of global direct-to-consumer for Discovery, said that Food Network Kitchen has seen strong early demand for its weekly live cooking classes. Due to that, the service is expanding its slate of weekly classes from 25 to 40 and opening a second Food Network kitchen studio in Los Angeles.

The news and speculation about Discovery’s DTC strategy arrives against the backdrop of the company’s third-quarter earnings. Total company revenues increased 3% to $2.68 billion as U.S. advertising revenues increased 3%, U.S. distribution increased 6%; and international advertising revenues increased 10% and distribution increased 8%. Adjusted OIBDA increased 6% to $1.12 billion.

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