David Zaslav: No Stopping Discovery Communications Outside U.S.
Discovery Communication makes much more money outside the U.S. than inside, has more employees oversees and 15 times the number of subscribers abroad than domestically, and “I don’t think there’s any stopping us outside the U.S.,” company chief executive David Zaslav crowed as he opened his company’s portion of Winter TV Press Tour 2015 today.
(Discovery Communications completed acquisition of a controlling interest in Eurosport International, Europe’s leading sports entertainment group. Discovery increased its interest in Eurosport to 51% from 20% as part of a larger partnership with TF1 Group. With the addition of Eurosport’s six pay-TV brands — Eurosport, Eurosport HD, Eurosport 2, Eurosport 2 HD, Eurosport Asia-Pacific and Eurosportnews — Discovery Communications now operates more than 210 worldwide TV networks reaching 2.7 billion cumulative subscribers.)
The company spent $2 billion in content in 2014 — compared to $600 million six year ago — and will spent even more this year then last, Zaslav promised. “We own all content for all platforms around world,” he boasted.
In his opening remarks, he singled out new Discovery Channel chief Rich Ross who, he said has been a friend for two decades and who he credited with broadening Disney’s cable presence, as well as one of Discovery’s group president’s Henry Schleiff, and OWN’s Oprah Winfrey.