Discovery, a fixer upper, adds ‘Fixer Upper’ in $14.6 billion deal

It’s not a great time for cable companies, what with the cord cutting and competition and such.

Discovery Communications, which is home to cable channels like Discovery channel and Animal Planet, knows this, so they’re bringing in some additional firepower.

Discovery announced on Monday that it would be buying Scripps Networks Interactive for $14.6 billion, adding a variety of major cable brands including HGTV, the Food Network and the Travel Channel.

The deal means Discovery would have almost 20 percent of total U.S. cable viewership.

Bigger is better in the cable world, particularly now. Companies like Discover get paid by distributors to carry its cable offerings. Those deals are subject to intense negotiations which have not been great for channel operators like Discovery. Fewer people subscribing combined with bigger distributors (which have more power in negotiations) have provided a brutal double-whammy on cable providers.

Cable companies, in turn, have been merging to keep pace with distributors. Monday’s deal is yet another move to make a bigger company that’s able to push back against distribution partners.

Then, there’s the internet. Cable companies are still working on taking their brands online, where size is also important.

“The combined company will deliver 7 billion monthly short-form streams, bringing together Scripps established expertise in short-form video creation with Discoverys investment in Group Nine Media to create a new scale player with a strong ability to compete for audiences and ad dollars,” Discovery noted in a press release announcing the deal.

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