Spun off from Liberty Media (LCAPA) in 2005, Discovery is a holding company for two businesses: Ascent Media Group, which helps create and distribute television shows and films; and a 67% stake in Discovery Communications, which creates and distributes programming through cable channels such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and The Learning Channel.
Both of DISCA's businesses operate in a highly competitive environment: Ascent competes with many of the same motion picture studios which are its customers--including Walt Disney Company (DIS), News Corporation (NWS)'s Fox Studios--and smaller companies providing post-production services, while Discovery competes with other cable networks operators such as E.W. Scripps Company (SSP) and Viacom (VIA).
Discovery is a holding company for two businesses: Ascent Media Group, which helps create and distribute television shows and films, and Discovery Communications, which creates and distributes programming through various cable channels.
In 2009, DISCA generated a net income of $552 million on revenues of $3.52 billion. This represents a 74.1% increase in net income on a 2.1% increase in revenues from 2008, when the company earned $317 million on $3.44 billion in revenues.
DISCA has three reportable business segments:
Many major motion picture studios (Walt Disney Company (DIS), Paramount Pictures, etc) can provide the same services as Ascent in-house, which makes them both customers and competitors of the company. Other competitors include:
Discovery competes with other networks for viewers, both for absolute numbers and narrower demographic categories; because the company acquires some of its programming from third party sources, it competes with other networks to acquire the best programming.
DISCA benefits from Discovery Communications' Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet brands, recognized worldwide. The company also owns one of the largest libraries of nonfiction video content in the world; the nature of its nonfiction programming is such that it appeals to universal audiences and is simple to adapt to international markets (by dubbing over narration into foreign languages.)