“We’re the media company of the future” he crowed to TCA-weary television critics and reporters.
Discovery, he claimed, sits behind only Comcast/NBCU in the U.S. in viewer time spent consuming content, is the No. 1 international media company and, outside the U.S., No. 1 in sports.
“Most of the media companies are on the right side of the soccer field and all around the ball,” he argued – the “ball” being scripted series and movies. He listed Netflix, Amazon, Showtime, Starz, etc. among the “maybe 10 places” you will go to get scripted series and movies.
“We are the rest of the field,” he said, getting press to sit up and take notice.
“We are where the ball is going to be,” Zaslav bragged, asserting viewers now spend more than 40-50% of their time looking at non-scripted fare, and walked the room through the company’s “massive” library, its network categories and its 2K TV personalities.
With the absorption of Scripps, Zaslav said his company delivers more female viewers than Big 3 broadcasters combined.
With the advent of 5G, he said, Discovery will “literally own the home,” ticking off its platforms dedicated to food, cooking, home design, home repair, the garage, and inspiration – Oprah’s turf, he said.
On the sport front, Zaslav took another victory lap on November’s news golfer Tiger Woods has inked a multi-year global partnership with Discovery and GolfTV, its new streaming venture with the PGA Tour.
Zaslav’s remarks kicking off l Discovery Inc’s portion of TCA read like a “nuts to you” to Discovery founder John Hendricks. Two days earlier Hendrick had come to TCA, to plug his non-scripted streaming service Curiosity, during which he named the six streaming behemoths that would survive the SVOD war – Discovery was not among them.