Discovery Communications allows viewers to go on safari without ever having to leave their couch. It is the world's #1 non-fiction media company, with more than 150 worldwide cable TV networks, including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and The Learning Channel (TLC). Among its US joint venture networks are The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), The Hub, and 3net (the first 24-hour 3D network). Discovery Communications reaches more than 2.2 billion subscribers in more than 220 countries. In addition, the company offers educational products and services to school; a diverse set of digital media services; and online content through Discovery.com and AnimalPlanet.com.
The company distributes customized content throughout the US and in more than 220 countries and territories in over 40 languages. US networks accounted for about 50% of revenue in fiscal 2014.
Sales and Marketing
The company cites the popularity of non-fiction programming as a key factor in its success; Discovery has carved out its leading position in the TV business by focusing on non-fiction and reality-based shows that mix entertainment and educational content.
Discovery's revenue increased by 13%, to $6.27 billion in fiscal 2014 compared to $5.5 billion in fiscal 2013. The spike was largely due to increases in revenue from the company's Distribution and Advertising segments.
Discovery's net income increased by about 6%, to $1.13 billion in fiscal 2014 compared to $1.075 billion in fiscal 2013. The improvement was the result of the increased total annual revenue combined with fewer capital expenditures and steady expenses.
The company's cash flow from operations remained strong in fiscal 2014, with $1.31 billion on hand.
Like rival cable programmers such as Viacom and A&E Television Networks, Discovery uses its portfolio of channels to segment its audience by programming each network around specific interests. The strategy gives each of Discovery's channels a distinct identity and simplifies the company's marketing efforts. It also increases the value of commercial air time for advertisers trying to reach those audiences. Discovery generates the lion's share of its revenue through advertising and carriage fees paid by cable system operators.