Discovery Communications said its third-quarter profit was essentially flat as improvements in operations due to revenue from advertising and distribution in the U.S. and overseas were offset by costs associated with the company’s pending merger with Scripps Networks Interactive.
Net income available to the owner of cable networks such as TLC and Animal Planet fell to $218 million or 38 cents per share, compared with $219 million or 36 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.
Revenue rose 6% to $1.651 billion from approximately $1.56 billion in the year-earlier quarter.
“Advertising and global distribution revenue growth helped to drive solid third quarter results for Discovery,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications, in a prepared statement.
Revenue at the company’s U.S. networks rose 4%, to $823 million, largely due to a 6% in revenue from distribution and a 3% increase in revenue from advertising. Distribution revenue was driven by increases in affiliate fee rates and increases in content licensing revenue, while ad revenue grew due to higher pricing. Discovery said subscribers to its portfolio of networks fell 5% during the third quarter, with subscriptions to the company’s most fully distributed networks were off 3%.
Revenue from overseas TV holdings rose 11%, to $796 million. Revenue from distribution, excluding the impact of currency effects, grew 9%, mostly due to higher affiliate rates in Europe and Latin America. Advertising revenues, excluding the impact of currency effects, increased 5%, mostly due to higher ratings in Southern Europe, Latin America, and other regions.