DISCA

Discovery Communications, Inc. (DISCA)

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Discovery Communications (DISCA)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

November 01, 2011 4:30 pm ET

Executives

Craig Felenstein - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

Peter Liguori - Chief Operating Officer and Senior Executive Vice President

Bradley E. Singer - Chief Financial Officer, Senior Executive Vice President and Treasurer

David Zaslav - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Member of Executive Committee

Analysts

Tuna N. Amobi - S&P Equity Research

Benjamin Swinburne - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Richard Greenfield - BTIG, LLC, Research Division

Jessica Reif Cohen - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

David Bank - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Spencer Wang - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

John Janedis - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Jason B. Bazinet - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Anthony J. DiClemente - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Michael C. Morris - Davenport & Company, LLC, Research Division

Alan S. Gould - Evercore Partners Inc., Research Division

Michael Nathanson - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Third Quarter 2011 Discovery Communications, Inc. Earnings Conference Call. My name is Brian, and I will be your operator for today's event. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this call is being recorded for replay purposes. I would like to now turn the call over to Mr. Craig Felenstein, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations. Please proceed, sir.

Craig Felenstein

Thank you, Brian. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to Discovery Communications Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Call. Joining me today is David Zaslav, our President and Chief Executive Officer; Peter Liguori, our Chief Operating Officer; and Brad Singer, our Chief Financial Officer.

Hopefully, you have all received our earnings release but if not, feel free to access it on our website at www.discoverycommunications.com. On today's call, we will begin with some opening comments from David and Brad, after which we will open the call up for your questions. We urge you to please keep to 1 to 2 questions so we can accommodate as many folks as possible.

Before we start, I would like to remind you that comments today regarding the company's future business plans, prospects and financial performance are forward-looking statements that we make pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made based on management's current knowledge and assumptions about future events, and they involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations.

In providing projections and other forward-looking statements, the company disclaims any intent or obligation to update them. For additional information on important factors that could affect these expectations, please see our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and our subsequent filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

And with that, I'll turn it over to David.

David Zaslav

Thanks, Craig. Good afternoon, everyone, and thanks for joining us. Discovery's sustained financial momentum continued during the third quarter as the power of our brands and the value of our content to viewers, distributors and advertisers translated into double-digit revenue and adjusted OIBDA growth.

I discussed last quarter how Discovery's focused investment in content remains a strategic imperative. The financial results we delivered this quarter demonstrate how strengthening our existing brands and building new genres creates value and drives organic growth.

Domestically, the appeal of our programming allowed us to continue to take advantage of the sustained strength in the ad market and begin to meaningfully leverage our 25-year programming library across emerging distribution platforms. Internationally, our diverse content offerings and the unparalleled breadth and depth of our global distribution platform enabled us to capitalize on the continued rapid penetration of Pay TV around the world while also leveraging the strong ad environment.

Demand for high quality programming has never been higher, with more platforms than ever before looking to distribute both current and library programming to consumers across multiple delivery mechanisms. There has never been a better time to be in the content business. People are watching more TV over multiple platforms. And because we own almost all of our programming, Discovery is particularly well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.

Our recently announced deal with Netflix is a good example of this. We were able to generate significant value from library content, mostly 18-months-plus old, while retaining flexibility with regards to our other distributors. A significant portion of the revenues were recognized in the current quarter, but revenues from this transaction will continue to enhance our affiliate growth rates over the 2-year deal as we deliver additional content and for an additional year if we exercise our option to extend.

We have said all along that Discovery is platform agnostic with regards to distributing our content, and we will continue to explore additional opportunities where we could find good economics, flexibility in windowing our programming and a strong brand environment where the trust and loyalty we have established with our audience across our portfolio can be recognized by the consumer. At the same time, we will be careful to protect the value that our content provides to our existing affiliate partners, and we'll work with them to deliver high quality programming to an evolving customer base.

The bottom line is that we invest well over $800 million annually in content across our consolidated portfolio. To that end, any relationship that revolves around our programming needs to ensure that we are receiving an appropriate return on that investment.

Our investment in content is not just paying off from leveraging new platforms and providers, but it is also facilitating growth from traditional revenue streams. As we've discussed previously, Discovery is continually focused on strengthening our existing channels and building new brands. The result is a diverse portfolio of networks that is enabling us to capitalize on the current strong global ad environment.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com