Discovery will look into OTT launches after Scripps acquisition

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

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said that after his company closes its Scripps Networks acquisition, Discovery will begin looking at potential OTT product launches.

He said Discovery will take a comprehensive look at what IP and channels it has and begin talking to customers about opportunities to bundle Discovery, Scripps and possibly other programmers’ channels into OTT services.

“We will be looking hard at that both domestically and internationally,” said Zaslav. “We could create a pretty compelling offering for $6, $7 or $8 that would look a lot different than Amazon Prime and Netflix, and it could be very attractive in every language globally. So we’ll keep our eye on that.”

Zaslav said that a number of lower-priced streaming bundles like DirecTV Now, Philo and Charter’s recently released a la carte option are already serving that niche.

 “We’re fully supportive of those. We don’t see any reason why we can’t continue to seed or grow that market. We think that there’s a big need in the U.S. for a low-priced entry product,” said Zaslav.

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He confirmed that Discovery is still not present in other virtual MVPDs like Hulu, YouTube TV and Sling TV, and that its “ambition is to be carried on every platform.” Zaslav said that over time, given the amount of time consumers spend with Discovery’s and Scripps’ channels, "it will be in our mutual interest for our channels to show up on those services."

Like fellow cable programmer Viacom has done recently, Discovery also addressed the opportunities available with mobile streaming deals for content. Zaslav said that Discovery is talking with AT&T and Verizon in the U.S. as well as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia in Europe about potential ways to offer streaming content to mobile subscribers.

“The secret sauce hasn’t happened yet, but every one of them together with us is looking at what kind of content people will want to consume on mobile, and what will differentiate or de-commoditize those mobile players,” said Zaslav.