It’s a big day for Discovery. Moments after revealing it had ordered a “historic” commission with Blue Planet producer BBC Studios, the factual broadcaster announced it had moved one step closer to its deal to acquire Scripps Network Interactive.
Discovery Communications revealed that the European Commission (EC) has cleared its $14.6B acquisition of the Food Network and HGTV owner. The European regulatory body agreed the deal on the condition that Discovery continues to offer third party distributors the right to broadcast Scripps’ Polish channels TVN24 and/or TVN24 BiS in the country.
The transaction is now subject to obtaining additional antitrust clearances and “satisfying other customary closing conditions” but is expected to close later this quarter. The merger would unite two titans of unscripted cable programming as programmers look to scale up as distribution and competitive challenges increase. Discovery’s portfolio includes the Discovery Channel, Investigation Discovery, OWN and TLC, while Scripps has the Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel. The deal was first proposed in November 2017.
“We are pleased with the positive decision of the European Commission,” said David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer, Discovery. “We believe that joining the Discovery and Scripps Networks’ family of brands and assets will allow us to better serve our passionate fans with more content on more platforms worldwide, while at the same time optimizing our business for greater efficiency.”