Discovery, Inc. CEO David Zaslav Stays Off-Script

March 7, 2018
Updated 1mo ago

Discovery’s $11.9 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks is now complete, and the company has rebranded itself as Discovery, Inc.

Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg spoke with chief exec David Zaslav on what this deal means for the company's position in entertainment.

Unlike Netflix, Amazon, and HBO, he said Discovery, Inc. will steer clear of scripted original content because that segment of the industry is increasingly crowded, competitive, and expensive.

“That marketplace is tightening. There’s more people bidding for the movies, more people bidding for series. The cost of content is going up,” said Zaslav.

Instead, Discovery, Inc. will focus on its strength: unscripted content that works better on all kinds of devices and around the world.

"We own all of our content globally," Zaslav told Cheddar. "But we'll resell that IP onto different devices. We might be selling it to Facebook, to Amazon, to Apple, to the mobile players."

That gives the company the flexibility to offer “skinny” direct-to-consumer packages.

“We’re the only company that could do it,” he said. “We’re also trying to really drive the marketplace ... We think the skinny bundle could really help the ecosystem here in the U.S.”

Through its acquisition, Discovery, Inc. now has 19 cable networks and reaches 20 percent of women watching prime time pay-TV, something that appeals to advertisers.

“Not only can we do one ad across all those channels...we have viewers that are passionate and engaged with our brands,” said Zaslav.

He added that some of the company’s channels bring in the “longest length of view for any cable network for women on TV.”

For the full interview, click here.