Discovery 3Q Profit Rises 24% On

Sharp increase in ad coin at overseas networks fuels performance

Discovery Communiications, the operator of cable networks including Discovery and TLC, said third-quarter net income rose 24% on the strength of improved performance at both its U.S. operations and foreign holdings.

The Silver Spring, Md., company, which also is a joint operator of the Oprah Winfrey-backed OWN cable network, said third quarter net income increased $50 million to $255 million, or 71 cents a share, compared with $205 million, or 55 cents a share, from the year-earlier period. The company cited strong performance as well as improved earnings from equity investments as factors for the rise.

Discovery said revenue in the third quarter rose 28% to about $1,375 billion from about $1.076 billion from the year-earlier period.  Revenue at the company’s U.S. networks rose 10% to $733 million from $664 million, while revenue at the company’s international networks rose 59% to $630 million from $590 million.

At the U.S. networks, advertising revenue increased 12% mainly due to higher ratings and better prices. Distribution revenue increased 10% largely due to increased revenue from licensing  agreements and higher rates, as well as from subscriber growth, Discovery said, primarily for networks carried on the digital tier.

At the international networks, advertising revenues increased 127% and distribution revenue rose 29%.  Excluding newly acquired businesses and foreign currency fluctuations, total revenue rose 18%. Discovery said its international outlets won more subscribers, most notably in Latin America.

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