Discovery’s revenue up 17% during Q1 filled with streaming video deals

Discovery’s national networks saw increases in pro forma advertising and distribution revenues during the quarter. (Discovery Inc.)

Discovery Inc. today reported first-quarter revenue of $2.7 billion, up 17% year over year, during a quarter when streaming deals filled the operational highlights section.

The company said that excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, revenue increased 21%. On a pro forma combined basis—which is presented as if the Scripps acquisition happened on Jan. 1—and excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, total company revenue fell 5%. That reality was shaped by 3% increase in U.S. Networks being more than offset by a 15% decrease in International Networks thanks to revenue from the Olympics in the first quarter of 2018 and the sale of Discovery’s education business.

Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) of $1.16 billion rose 63% but on a pro forma combined basis, excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, total company adjusted OIBDA increased 21%, once again thanks to unfavorable comparisons with the Olympics during the year-ago quarter.

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First-quarter net income was $384 million, compared with a loss of $8 million in the year-ago quarter. Discovery attributed that gain to the integration of Scripps’ networks.

RELATED: Discovery unconcerned by Netflix’s accelerating unscripted efforts

Discovery’s national networks saw increases in pro forma advertising and distribution revenues during the quarter. The company said the 4% rise in distribution was primarily due to contractual affiliate rates and additional carriage on streaming platforms toward the end of 2018, partially offset by a decline in overall subscribers as well as additional revenues from content deliveries under SVOD arrangements.

Streaming deals dominated the highlights of the quarter for Discovery. The company announced a 10-year global partnership with the BBC for factual SVOD content; launched digital streaming video platform GOLFTV internationally; announced a multiplatform media joint venture with Chip and Joanna Gaines that will rebrand DIY Network, with the new brand expected to be unveiled in Summer 2020; and scored a new distribution agreement in the U.S. with YouTube TV.

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