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Discovery U.S. Ad Revenue Slides in Q4

Domestic ad revenue at Discovery Communications fell 3% in the fourth quarter, driving down results even as international revenues rose in the mid-single digits.

Fourth-quarter revenues of $1.7 billion increased $139 million, or 9%, over the fourth quarter a year ago, led by 17% growth at International Networks and 1% growth at U.S. Networks. 

Adjusted OIBDA decreased $25 million to $638 million, as 11% growth at International Networks was offset by a 7% decline at U.S. Networks.

International ad revenue was up 7% to $433 million and affiliate revenue outside the US was up 24% to $412 million.

Domestic ad sales fell 3% to $398 million, while affiliate fees rose 8% to $333 million. Discovery attributed the ad decline to lower ratings and lower demand.

"The healthy performance of our core business coupled with increasing contributions from our recent strategic acquisitions led to another year of solid operational and financial results and increasing capital returns in 2014," said Discovery  CEO David Zaslav in a statement. "Despite a more challenging U.S market and significant foreign currency headwinds, our content portfolio once again drove audience gains and boosted our market share around the world.  As we move into 2015, we are confident that our long-term content investment strategy, strong global IP and brands, and local approach to markets will continue to drive our results and enable us to deliver additional value to shareholders.”