The financial details of his new contract weren’t announced but will be laid out in an SEC filing this week.
The extension was made in connection with the deal announced yesterday to combine AT&T’s WarnerMedia with Discovery to create a new standalone entertainment company. Zaslav will be CEO. The deal is expected to close in the middle of next year pending approval by regulators and Discovery shareholders.
It marks a major new phase for Discovery, which, under Zaslav, began trading as a public company in 2008. He joined in 2007 from NBCUniversal. The combination will create a still unnamed publicly traded entity that with two large streaming services, linear broadcast and cable assets, and film and television studios, large libraries and of wide range of content deals including sports rights. Discovery’s strength is nonfiction.
After a recent pivot to streaming, a big impetus for the deal, Discovery has 15 million global subscribers, led by recently rolled out discovery+.
Under Zaslav, Discovery’s major transformative deal was the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive in 2018.
Discovery said it currently comprises nearly 20% of ad-supported pay-TV viewership in the U.S., nearly 7 billion monthly video views, and that its global distribution platform has expanded to 3 billion cumulative worldwide viewers with a diverse set of brands. They include Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, the forthcoming multi-platform JV with Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, home of the Olympics in Europe.
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