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Discovery Plans To Bring Oprah and Martha Stewart To A Global Audience, CEO Says

Discovery Plans To Bring Oprah and Martha Stewart To A Global Audience, CEO Says

Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA) has been working on a streaming video platform for five years with the objective of transforming the media company from a "cable and free-to-air company to a global IP company," Discovery CEO David Zaslav said during a Bloomberg interview.

Competitive Advantage: Discovery's 2018 acquisition of Scripps Networks created a new entity that fits in with the company's longer-term streaming plans, the CEO said. Most notably, platforms like the Food Network and HGTV are "global IP products" that Discovery fully owns. Other similar deals include a 2019 global content partnership with the BBC in which Discovery acquired streaming video rights to hundreds of hours of content.

Discovery believes its content library boasts a major advantage over rival streaming video platforms like Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) that offers only scripted content, he said. However, this accounts for less than half of all content consumed and Discovery addresses the other half.

Unlike Netflix where there are new competitors almost by the day looking to steal market share, Discovery faces minimal competition.

Related Link: Discovery+ Streaming Platform Could Win Big With Strong Brand, Content Library

Built For The World: Discovery has been building its streaming content under the assumption it can't compete unless it reaches a global audience and owns its content, Zaslav said. While the company's efforts over the years have generated a platform with more than 1,000 hours worth of content, there is still a lot of work to be done on promoting its image.

"Clarity of what you are really matters," he said.

Discovery is home to not only great brands but characters that people love, including Martha Stewart, Oprah, Mike Rowe, Joanna and Chip Gaines, among many others.

"The idea is yes, we have a library as big or bigger than Netflix, but we need original content and we need to go forward with the great brands and characters," he said.

Benzinga file photo by Dustin Blitchok.


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