Chip and Joanna Gaines Channel Will Have Direct-to-Consumer Option, David Zaslav Says

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

We knew “Fixer Upper” couple Chip and Joanna Gaines’ TV network would have a multi-platform existence, and now we know for sure there will be a direct-to-consumer option.
“We have a real vision for that in terms of going direct-…

Chip & Joanna Gaines Eye Direct-To-Consumer Streaming Network Along With Linear Programming Via Discovery Partnership

Read on: Deadline.

Chip and Joanna Gaines, the Waco, TX-based duo known for hosting HGTV’s Fixer Upper, will front a new direct-to-consumer streaming service, Discovery CEO David Zaslav indicated this morning on the company’s quarterly earnings call.
The offe…

Discovery Returns to Profitability in First Q4 After HGTV, Food Network Acquisition

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Discovery is back in the black for its year-ending quarter. The new(-ish) TLC and HGTV parent reported a profit of $269 million for the fourth quarter of 2018. Wall Street will compare that to the $1.1 billion it lost in Q4 2017.

Sounds like that Scripps deal is working out — at least, on an operational basis. Discovery did miss media analysts’ expectations for the three months ended December 31, 2018.

Wall Street had forecast earnings per share (EPS) of 79 cents on $2.84 billion in revenue, per a consensus compiled by Yahoo Finance. Discovery actually reported adjusted EPS of 74 cents on revenue of $2.81 billion. Excluding some after-tax restructuring charges, the reported earnings number adjusts to 82 cents per share, which is the version that will make investors happy.

Also Read: Discovery to Open Egyptian Sarcophagus in 2-Hour Live TV Event

Inclusive of its splashy acquisition, revenues grew by 51 percent versus the comparable quarter. Peeling the deal and some currency fluctuations out, Discovery revenue would have slipped 2 percent from Q4 2017.

With those new channels also comes increased expenses, of course. For one way to look at that, operating expenses for the U.S. networks rose from $1.4 billion across all of 2017 to $2.9 billion over the entirety of 2018.

Discovery purchased Scripps Networks in March for almost $15 billion. The acquisition led the combined company to full-year net income of $594 million, which compares with a $337 million loss the prior year.

Also Read: Tiger Woods to Develop Programming for Discovery-PGA Tour’s GolfTV Streaming Service

“2018 was a transformational year for Discovery, highlighted by our operational accomplishments, our strong progress in synergy generation and our overall solid financial performance, as we continued powering people’s passions around the world,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery. “Discovery is a differentiated global content company, and we are optimistic that we will continue to build on all of our operating momentum to drive additional shareholder value into the future.”

DISCA stock closed Monday at $29.21 per share, flat for the day. The U.S. stock markets reopen today at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Discovery executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the full year and fourth quarter in greater detail.

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David Zaslav Says Chip and Joanna Gaines’ HGTV Exit ‘Sucked All the Air Out of My Lungs’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Major media-corporation CEOs: They’re just like us! Discovery boss David Zaslav said Monday that when “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines exited HGTV, it “sucked all of the air out of my lungs.”

“We can’t forget that in the content business we’re really about stories and people. That’s what [viewers] tune in for. That’s why, a month before we closed, when Chip and Joanna Gaines left HGTV — it sucked all the air out of my lungs,” Zaslav said this morning at the 46th UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. “I couldn’t take my eyes off the two of them.”

He continued: “They’re great characters, people love them, they want to watch them, they want to know how they’re doing, they love their taste, they built a billion-dollar business with Magnolia, they’re like one of the Top 5 tourist sites in America — in Waco — but they’re not in our family anymore.”

Also Read: ‘Fixer Upper’ Stars Chip and Joanna Gaines to Get Their Own Discovery TV Network (Video)

“I went to Waco multiple times because that’s the business that we’re in,” Zaslav said.

Fortunately, those trips got them back in the family. After negotiating directly with Zaslav, the Gaines are partnering with Discovery, Inc. to launch their own TV network, which will include a linear platform.

The way cable TV generally works, Discovery will either have to buy another existing network or rebrand one of its own. Logically, the latter is the most likely play here. After acquiring Scripps earlier this year, Discovery is now the proud home of 19 cable channels: Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Velocity, Science Channel, DIY, Cooking Channel, Discovery Family, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Discovery Life, Great American Country, and Spanish-language channels Discovery en Espanol and Familia Discovery.

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Tiger Woods to Develop Programming for Discovery-PGA Tour’s GolfTV Streaming Service

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Tiger Woods has signed a deal to develop content for Discovery and the PGA Tour’s streaming service GolfTV, which launches internationally in 20 different territories next year.

The 14-time Major champion will give weekly lessons and unprecedented (for him) access to GolfTV’s cameras. Subscribers will get to see Woods collect his thoughts before and after rounds. He’ll also take viewers on the road and give access to his preparation routines.

Due to live-event TV rights being claimed domestically by other platforms through 2021, GolfTV will not be available in the U.S. At least, not for a while. In theory, however, the Woods content could be shopped to an existing outlet.

Also Read: Turner to Refund Fans Who Paid for Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson Match That Accidentally Streamed for Free

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Woods, who just lost that $9 million Black Friday round against Phil Mickelson on their fourth playoff hole, had a TON to say about the pact.

Here are Woods’ first thoughts, straight from the media release:

I’ve been watching Discovery and David Zaslav build up a global sports platform with Eurosport, the Olympics and the launch of GolfTV with us at the PGA Tour, so I think they’re the perfect partner to help grow the game. They’re global, they get sports and know how to build new, younger and big audiences. It’s a perfect fit and I’m so excited to be a real partner with the Discovery Sports team.

Also Read: Tiger vs. Phil: ‘Baba Booey’ Written In Sky During Match

And more:

I love the vision of GolfTV and the ambition for it to become the premier destination for golf entertainment worldwide. To have my own platform to communicate is the culmination of a lot of hard work from my team and the team at Discovery. We’re going to build content for everyone, whether you’ve been playing golf for a long time or just starting out. I’ll be sharing stories and giving insight into my approach that has never been seen before. This is such an exciting time for golf and for me, so to be part of the vision to grow the game all around the world is fantastic. I can’t wait to share my knowledge on GolfTV.

I want to talk to golf fans and golfers everywhere, directly, and straight from me. That’s important to me. Talking about what we care about: what’s happening on the course, how to play better, how can I shoot lower scores tomorrow, how can I beat my friends? David explained how GolfTV is for the fans and the players, a single place they’ll all want to go, and he’s building something everyone will want.

Also Read: ‘The Match:’ Watch Tiger Woods Hole His Chip at 17 to Stay Alive (Video)

He wasn’t done there:

Getting the chance to do instruction is exciting. I’ve always been focused on my own game and this experience can help players everywhere. Whether you’re a long-time player or a beginner, there are some things that help us all play better. It’s one way I want to give back to people who love the game like I do. If I can help the next generation enjoy the game more and play better, that’s pretty special.

Also Read: ‘The Match: Tiger vs Phil Begins’ – Tiger Woods Wins $200K in First Hole Against Phil Mickelson

Finally. Zaslav’s turn:

“I am excited to welcome Tiger to the Discovery family and to GolfTV, a true superstar joining our company of world-class storytellers and brands. At the heart of Discovery is high-quality storytelling, told through the most authentic, credible and trusted voices,” David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery, said. “Tiger is the ultimate example of a world-class athlete and cultural figure with whom audiences are enamored, and follow closely around the world. Our global partnership with Tiger is a perfect example of our strategy to collaborate exclusively with top talent to extend global media platforms, and take advantage of our international distribution and technology infrastructure and aggregate audiences and build long-term value.”

“With Tiger joining us, I am confident that GolfTV will be the new gold standard for comprehensive sports streaming, nourishing golf fans when and where they want to consume what they are most passionate about,” Zaslav continued.

Also Read: Phil Mickelson Beats Tiger Woods in $9 Million Golf Mega-Matchup

Alex Kaplan, president and general manager, Discovery Golf, added: “It’s a privilege for us to welcome Tiger to the GolfTV team. No one else in the game resonates globally the way Tiger does or has the global fan base, and he has great wisdom to share, on and off the course. We’re thrilled to give him the global platform to do just that, and to provide our audience in more than 200 markets and territories a closer look at Tiger on the greens and behind the scenes.

“Our long-term partnership with Tiger reflects our broader ambition as we roll-out the service over the coming years, seeking to grow GolfTV into a true ecosystem for all things golf: watching, learning and playing,” Kaplan said.

GolfTV will present more than 2,000 hours of live-action each year — including live coverage of The Players Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup — as well as a bunch of on-demand content.

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‘Fixer Upper’ Couple Chip and Joanna Gaines to Get Their Own Discovery TV Network (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Former “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are partnering with Discovery, Inc. to launch their own TV network. The couple first shared the news on Friday’s “Tonight Show.”

“We signed a nondisclosure. And it said, ‘You can tell your mother, but that’s it.’ So, Mom, I just wanted to make a quick announcement: We are coming back to television,” Chip told Jimmy Fallon when the NBC host asked if the ex-HGTV darlings would ever return to TV.

Adding that he and Joanna worked the plan out with Discovery chief David Zaslav directly, Chip said their comeback is “gonna be filmed a lot in Waco, Texas,” their hometown and the setting of “Fixer Upper,” which was HGTV’s top-rated series.

Also Read: HGTV Boss Says No to New ‘Fixer Upper’: ‘What Made the Show Special Was Chip and Jo’

Discovery backed the couple’s news Saturday in this statement to TheWrap: “Discovery is thrilled to confirm that we are in exclusive talks with Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Gaineses are exceptional people, true authentic storytellers and creative visionaries who will nourish millions of people with quality, family-friendly programming accessible on a 24/7 network and across all screens. Stay tuned…working out the final details…more to come soon!”

The way cable TV generally works, Discovery will either have to buy another existing network or rebrand one of its own. Logically, the latter is the most-likely play here. After acquiring Scripps earlier this year, Discovery is now the proud home of 19 cable channels: Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Velocity, Science Channel, DIY, Cooking Channel, Discovery Family, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Discovery Life, Great American Country, and Spanish-language channels Discovery en Espanol and Familia Discovery.

Now, it’s safe to say the Discovery, TLC, Food Network, Animal Planet and HGTV brands are going nowhere. And Discovery also seems especially dedicated to Travel Channel and ID. Discovery bought a majority stake in Oprah’s OWN late last year.

Also Read: David Zaslav Explains Why TLC’s ’90 Day Fiance’ Is Like Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives’

When reached by TheWrap, a Discovery spokeswoman declined to comment on how exactly it will alter the cable landscape to accommodate the Gaines network.

A few months after HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” wrapped its five-season run in April, network boss Kathleen Finch told TheWrap that, though she certainly misses the Gaineses (and their Nielsen TV ratings), fans shouldn’t expect another version of the home-updating series with a new couple.

“What made the show special was Chip and Jo,” Finch told TheWrap. during the Television Critics Association press tour in July. “I don’t see that we would ever make it with someone else.”

Also Read: ‘Flip or Flop Atlanta’ Was Not Supposed to Be Part of HGTV Franchise

Finch, who heads up HGTV — among other networks — as chief lifestyle brands officer for Discovery Inc., expanded upon the couple’s decision to walk away from their hit series after the successful run.

“Obviously, we didn’t want them to go because we love them,” she said, but added that the decision was theirs and theirs alone. “We’re never going to stand in the way of talent… we understand that when family calls we don’t want anybody to be unhappy in their job.”

Finch pointed out that the Gaines’ recently had their fifth child, and with everything the duo has to juggle — between the show, furniture line, their construction, design, publishing and even cupcake businesses — it wasn’t too much of a surprise to her. “It was just too much for them to handle.”

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David Zaslav Explains Why TLC’s ’90 Day Fiance’ Is Like Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

David Zaslav says that TLC’s hit IP, “90 Day Fiance,” reminds him of another groundbreaking reality franchise he worked on: “The Real Housewives.”

“It reminds me of ‘Housewives’ when I was at NBC with the NBC cable group,” Zaslav Thursday said of “90 Day Fiance” during Discovery, Inc.’s third-quarter 2018 earnings call. “It’s not one show, it’s multiple shows. It runs for most of the year, it continues to grow. It also is working for us globally.”

“On Sunday night, it’s massive numbers, and it has huge social energy around it,” he added. “We think that’s sustainable.”

Also Read: David Zaslav Says Discovery Probably Won’t Bid on Fox RSNs: ‘Those Businesses Can Be Dicey’

If the big Nielsen ratings for “90 Day Fiance” and spinoffs “90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days” and “90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?” truly are sustainable, Discovery’s TLC could pretty much coast all weekend into Sunday night for the foreseeable future.

Zaslav made the comments about his hit TLC franchise on Discovery’s third-quarter 2018 earnings conference call, which draws investors, media-company analysts and the press. Read about Discovery’s Q3 earnings here — they were a mixed bag, but company stock (DISCA) is having a very good morning.

Check out the Wall Street movement below.

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David Zaslav Says Discovery Probably Won’t Bid on Fox RSNs: ‘Those Businesses Can Be Dicey’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Don’t expect those Fox regional sports networks (RSNs) to follow the Scripps channels under Discovery’s umbrella. Discovery, Inc. chief David Zaslav (mostly) shut that idea down on Thursday morning, saying, “Those businesses can be di…

Discovery Misses on Q3 Earnings, Continues to Feel Impact of Scripps Acquisition

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Discovery missed the mark with its third-quarter 2018 earnings, but the company reported the *right* revenue number, according to media analysts.

Wall Street had forecast Q3 earnings per share (EPS) of 59 cents on $2.6 billion in revenue, according to a consensus compiled by Yahoo Finance. Discovery posted $2.592 billion in revenue and 52 cents in adjusted EPS.

Domestically, Discovery saw its advertising revenue increase from the comparable quarter last year. That growth was due to pricing increases as the company’s linear ratings declined. If we set aside the expenses of absorbing Scripps, Discovery’s U.S. networks also cut costs a bit.

Internationally, distribution ticked up and adjusted expenses ticked down.

Taking on the Scripps channels increases revenue and expenses. Discovery is allowed to provide calculations that factor those out here for fair comparisons to Q3 2017.

Also Read: HGTV and TLC to Revive ‘While You Were Out’ as Crossover Series Between Networks

“Our solid third quarter results demonstrate the strength of our brands and unmatched multi-platform distribution network, as we continue to position our broad suite of IP to maximize value and extend our global presence,” David Zaslav, Discovery president and CEO, said in remarks accompanying the financial press release. “We are very pleased with how far we’ve come in the eight months since we closed our merger with Scripps Networks, highlighted by the acceleration of synergy generation and strong Adjusted OIBDA growth in the third quarter.”

“Additionally, we continue to drive organic growth opportunities across our diverse portfolio, further positioning us for continued cash flow generation and additional value creation,” he continued. “We remain increasingly optimistic about the roadmap ahead of us as we drive forward with our plan to transform our company.”

Zaslav and other Discovery executives will hold a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.

Shares of DISCA stock closed Wednesday afternoon at $33.08, down 21 cents. The U.S. stock markets will reopen for their regular trading day at 9:30 a.m. ET.

In March, Discovery closed its near-$15 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks, which brought popular cable channels like HGTV and Food Network under the same umbrella as TLC and Discovery Channel.

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HGTV Bought ‘Brady Bunch’ Home, Plans to Restore ‘to Its 1970s Glory’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The deep-pocketed buyer who outbid Lance Bass for the Studio City, California, home used in the ’70s sitcom “The Brady Bunch” is no longer a mystery: It’s HGTV.

David Zaslav, the CEO of HGTV parent company Discovery, announced on Tuesday’s second-quarter earnings call that the network had purchased the house that was recently on the market.

“One of our projects for HGTV will speak to those ‘Brady Bunch’ fans on the call,” he said. “You may have heard that the house from the iconic series was recently on the market in California. I’m excited to share that HGTV is the winning bidder and will restore the ‘Brady Bunch’ home to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can.”

Also Read: Lance Bass ‘Heartbroken’ After Losing ‘Brady Bunch’ House in ‘#ShadyAF’ Bidding War

Zaslav was light on details on the upcoming renovation series, which fits right in with all of HGTV’s current programming. “More detail to come over the next few months but we’ll bring all the resources to bear to tell safe, fun stories about this beloved piece of American TV history,” he said.

On Sunday, Bass took to social media to complain about losing the home after he said he had been told late last week that the real estate broker had accepted a bid he said was well over the asking price of $1.885 million.

“I’m feeling heartbroken today,” he began. “As many of you may have heard, we placed the winning bid on the iconic Brady Bunch house — at least that’s what we were told.”

Also Read: ‘Brady Bunch’ House Goes Up for Sale, Spunky Housekeeper Not Included

The former ‘NSync star added, “The next day, due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ the same agent informed us that there’s another Corporate Buyer (Hollywood studio) who wants the house at any cost.”

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom house was used for exteriors in the sitcom, which aired from 1969 to 1974. Listing agent Douglas Elliman called the 2,477-square-foot house the “2nd most photographed home in the United States after the White House.”

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HGTV Is The Winning Bidder For The ‘Brady Bunch’ House In LA

Read on: Deadline.

The mystery of which Hollywood entity bought the iconic house used for exterior shots in The Brady Bunch has been solved: Cable network HGTV is the buyer.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav made the announcement during this morning’s second quarter earni…

Discovery Execs Tout Company’s Post-Merger Might: “We Feel Good” – TCA

Read on: Deadline.

Four months after closing the $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, Discovery brass held their first TCA executive session, making the case for the company’s expanded footprint and focus on unscripted content its owns around …

Discovery Boss Shrugs on Media Industry Consolidation: ‘I Wish I Knew How All the Chips Are Going to Fall’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav knows there’s a lot of industry consolidation going on, with Disney and Comcast fighting over Fox, and AT&T buying Time Warner. And he’s just as curious as we are to see where it all ends up.

“I wish I knew how all the chips are going to fall,” Zaslav told TV critics gathered at the TCA press tour on Thursday. “We’ve placed a lot of chips as bets in areas in the field that most of our competitors haven’t.”

Zaslav would know a lot about consolidation too. His company just closed its nearly $15 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, which added networks like HGTV, Food Network and Cooking Channel to Discovery’s own hefty portfolio. Between the two companies, that’s a total of 19 different networks.

Also Read: HGTV Boss Says No to New ‘Fixer Upper’: ‘What Made the Show Special Was Chip and Jo’

Post merger, Discovery Inc. is now the second-largest TV company in the U.S., behind only NBCUniversal, taking up 15 percent share of the marketplace. “We were number three when we closed our deal,” he noted.

And with a programming lineup that is full of non-fiction TV series, they play in sandbox that is fairly empty. Which is just how Zaslav likes it.

“If you look at our industry, the majority are playing in scripted series and scripted movies,” he said. “It’s very competitive and very crowded.” He continued that the media business is essentially split into two sides, with everyone in scripted on one, and Discovery on the other. “We see what we have as everything else,” he said, before adding a very important detail: “We own all of it globally.”

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Zaslav, along with Nancy Daniels, chief brand officer of Discovery and Factual, reaffirmed a stance that Discovery has taken for a while now: It’s no longer in the scripted content game. “The competitive nature of [the scripted] side of the business has really changed,” said Zaslav, noting the increased competition from big-pocketed tech giants like Amazon and Apple. “We’ve moved away from that.”

In March, shortly before the Discovery-Scripps merger closed, Rich Ross departed as group president of Discovery Channel and Science Channel. Ross had largely spearheaded Discovery’s scripted push, which included series “Harley and the Davidsons” and “Manhunt: Ubamomber.” His ouster was another example of Discovery moving back into non-fiction programming full-time.

“We decided, let’s do what we do best and focus on non-scripted programming,” said Daniels. “It’s really hard to break through.”

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Discovery Extends CEO David Zaslav’s Contract Through 2023

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Discovery Communications announced on Wednesday that it has extended CEO David Zaslav’s contract through 2023.

“A dynamic, creative, and passionate leader, David is a builder and an innovator, laser focused on creating value,” Discovery chairman Robert Miron said in a statement. “This multi-year commitment affirms our confidence in David’s leadership, and on behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we are excited for David and his strong management team to drive further success and growth in this next chapter of the new Discovery.”

Zaslav joined Discovery as president and CEO in 2007. The contract extension ensures Zaslav will remain in the role for the next five and a half years.

Also Read: Discovery Boss David Zaslav’s Pay Rose Above $42 Million Last Year

Earlier this year, Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, home to brands including HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel. Discovery also signed a partnership with the PGA Tour to create a first-of-its kind international golf service, including global television and multi-platform live rights, outside the United States, to all PGA Tour media properties.

“I am thrilled. Leading Discovery is my dream job,” Zaslav said in a statement. “I would like to thank Discovery’s board of directors, fantastic management team, business partners, and all of our passionate superfans around the world for helping to make Discovery the unparalleled company it is today. Together, we are building something special.

“The new Discovery has the leading IP portfolio of beloved brands in the world, reaching viewers globally on every screen and service,” he continued. “Being at Discovery for the past 11 years has been the privilege of my career.  I am confident our brand strength, global platform and marketplace differentiation will ensure that Discovery continues to grow and deliver value to our viewers, partners and shareholders for many years to come.”

Also Read: Discovery’s David Zaslav Calls US Skinny Bundles ‘Overstuffed Turkeys’

Zaslav’s new contract is through Dec. 31, 2023. Zaslav has committed to hold the majority of his equity from stock grants to term, furthering the alignment of shareholder and management interests, the company said in a release.

“David has done a masterful job leading and growing Discovery over the last decade. He is a visionary, a strategic builder and all around great guy,” said John Malone, Discovery director and chairman, Liberty Media Corporation and Liberty Global, Inc. “Under David’s leadership, Discovery has scaled new heights becoming the leader in sports across Europe, building the leading global IP portfolio of high quality content, and positioning Discovery for continued global growth. We are lucky to have him.”

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