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Discovery, Comcast Could Be Close to Pact

The clock continues to tick on Discovery Communications’s carriage deal with Comcast — and sources familiar with both companies say the two continue to talk about a renewal agreement. While there are no guarantees, indications are that a deal will be reached by the June 30 deadline.

Discovery and Comcast officials declined to comment on the status of negotiations, but the sources said talks have been ongoing for weeks. While talks haven’t achieved the intensity level of past discussions, no major roadblocks have surfaced. Whether that means the MSO and the programmer will hammer out a deal in the next few days, or that Comcast is willing to endure a brief blackout, remains to be seen.

A successful Comcast negotiation could be a big boost for Discovery. Its stock has declined almost 12% in the past 12 months as ad-market doldrums and carriage concerns have weighed heavily on the programmer.

Discovery derives more than half of its revenue from outside the U.S., but Comcast makes up about 22% of total affiliate-fee revenue.