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Int’l networks revenues up 32% at Discovery

International network revenues continue to drive growth at pay TV giant Discovery Communications.

David ZaslavThe international segment of the company’s third quarter results grew 32% year-on-year, and helped Discovery post overall revenues of US$1.57 billion, up 14% on 2013, despite a 1% fall in US network sales.

Furthermore, the US$818 million international networks – which include Discovery Channel and TLC – took in the three months to September 30 outstripped domestic revenues by US$94 million.

International channel distribution revenues were up 34% and totalled US$430 million, while advertising took 20% more than the same period a year ago by bringing in US$337 million.

Discovery’s international revenues for a quarter surpassed domestic for the first time in the previous quarter of this year as the company positions itself as a global pay TV provider with a channel portfolio of unscripted and reality networks.

“Overall, our global business continues its strong organic growth with international now accounting for more than 50% of our total company revenue and growing,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav. “That’s an important inflection point for our company, a key differentiator for Discovery and the foundation of our growth strategy going forward.”

This comes after various international acquisitions, including the 2012 deal for the SBS channels in Scandinavia, the move for a majority stake in Eurosport, the buy up of New Zealand network The Living Channel and Takhayal Entertainment, parent of Middle Eastern food-themed channel Fatafeat.

Discovery now also owns 50% of UK-based production giant All3Media following a £550 million (US$880 million) deal, but the subsidiary reports its financial results separately as it is a joint venture with Liberty Global.

“Our expansive content portfolio drove audience gains and boosted our market share around the world as we continued to benefit from the ongoing development of the global pay TV market,” said Zaslav.

Last week, Zaslav named Shine America’s CEO Rich Ross as the new president of Discovery Channel.