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Discovery Claims 18 Million Direct-to-Consumer Customers

Discovery Plus
(Image credit: Discovery)

Discovery said that it had 17 million direct-to-consumer customers at the end of the second quarter and that increased to 18 million as of Tuesday as the company televised the Olympics in Europe.

The company ended the first quarter with 13 million DTC subscribers to Discovery Plus and its other DTC products and 15 million when it reported earnings in April.

Discovery Plus will be available via Cox Communications' Contour and Vizio's SmartCast, the company said.

Second-quarter net income jumped to $672 million, or $1.01 a share, from $271 million or 40 cents a share. 

Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization, was down 1% to $1.117 billion. 

Revenue rose 21% to $3.062 billion, with next generation revenue of nearly $400 million, up 130% from a year ago.

The company is in the process of acquiring WarnerMedia, which is being spun off by AT&T.

At Discovery’s U.S. networks, OIBDA fell 1% to $1.05 billion on a 12% increase in revenue to $1.973 billion.

Distribution revenue rose 12% to $828 billion, boosted by the launch of Discovery Plus and contractual increases in affiliate fees, offset by a decline 3% in subscribers.

Advertising revenue was up 12% to $1.119 billion.

The company said its upfront generated the most revenue in the company history, including doubling the revenue for Discovery Premiere, the package of high rated, first run shows from across the Discovery cable networks.

"Discovery delivered very strong results this quarter as we executed well amidst a recovering global advertising market. Advertising revenue increased in every region of the globe and accelerated throughout the quarter, particularly in our International segment as revenue increased 70%,” said CEO David Zaslav.  

“We continued to steadily execute in our emerging next-generation businesses, with 17 million paying direct-to-consumer subscribers at the end of the quarter, and 18 million as of today," Zaslav said. "This contributed to 130% revenue growth in the second quarter. Our first Summer Olympic Games have thus far been a success, supporting healthy viewing and subscriptions across both our linear and streaming platforms, and underscores the importance of our commitment and investment in marquee IP. We continue to fire on all cylinders, and I am very pleased with our momentum as we work to complete our transformational WarnerMedia transaction."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting + Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.