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Strong Q3 sees Discovery DTC business soar past 20MN subs

For its third quarter ended 30 September, the company posted total revenues of $3.150 billion increasing 23% annually, as reported and ex-FX, compared with the prior year quarter. US advertising revenues increased 5% compared with the same quarter a year earlier and distribution revenues increased 21% in the same time frame. Non-US advertising revenues showed much greater growth, rising 28%, or 26% ex-FX, and distribution revenues increased 7%, or 6% ex-FX, when compared with the end of the third quarter of 2020. The revenues were the driver for a total net income of $156 million and total adjusted OIBDA of $726 million. It also generated $425 million of Next Generation Revenues, growth of approximately 100% versus the prior year quarter.

Looking at customers in the quarter – in which it launched discovery+ in Canada and the Philippines and announced that the app is also now available on Cox Contour TV and Contour Stream Player – Discovery revealed that it ended Q3 with 20 million DTC subscribers, an increase of 3 million subscribers since the end of Q2. It addition to finalising multi-year US distribution agreements with DirecTV and Verizon, the company said that its broadcast of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games reached over 372 million people in Europe across TV and digital platforms, and delivered 1.3 billion minutes of Olympics content on its streaming services.

Assessing the company’s performance during the quarter, Discovery president and chief executive officer David Zaslav commented that the company had made “great strides” in the quarter operationally, financially and creatively. “The team drove solid momentum in our direct-to-consumer business, which we grew to 20 million paid subscribers at quarter end on the strength of our global brands and fan-favourite content, including the Summer Olympic Games and Shark Week,” he remarked.

“Additionally, we delivered double-digit growth in both advertising and distribution revenues, as we doubled next generation revenues year over year. This strong performance once again drove very healthy cash flows during the quarter, further strengthening our balance sheet and financial profile. We are very excited about our pending merger with WarnerMedia and the opportunity to bring these two companies together, combining iconic and globally cherished franchises and brands, and positioning us to more efficiently drive global scale across the combined portfolio.” Rapid TV News

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