Cable programming giant Discovery Communications has gone on a $2-billion spending spree in an effort to significantly boost its international presence.
Discovery, parent of several popular U.S. cable channels including Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet, has struck a deal to acquire Scandinavian programmer SBS Nordic from Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, and has formed a strategic alliance with French media giant TF1 that includes a 20% equity stake in its popular Eurosport Group and four pay-TV channels in France.
As its cable properties in the U.S. mature, Discovery has placed a priority on expanding its footprint overseas in content and distribution.
According to a regulatory filing, Discovery is paying about $1.73 billion for SBS, which has television and radio properties in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Britain. The company was in competition for SBS with private equity firm Providence Equity.