TVBizwire

Whoa! Discovery Considering a Bid to Buy the Food Network, HGTV, DIY, the Travel Channel, the Cooking Channel, Great American Country and CityEats Variety; Scripps Networks Interactive website

"Discovery Communications is mulling a bid for Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), parent company of Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel and other lifestyle-oriented cablers.

"A source with knowledge of the situation said the prospect of Discovery making a run at Scripps Networks was discussed Tuesday at a Discovery board meeting."

So reports our good friend Andy Wallenstein in a terrific scoop in Variety. He was assisted in his reporting by another good friend of ours, Cynthia Littleton. They are two of the best covering the entertainment beat. Please click on the link above to read the entire exclusive. Here are the highlights:

"Knoxville, Tenn.-based SNI has been seen as a prime acquisition target for some time. The company has valuable brands, particularly in Food Network and HGTV, but is small enough to be easily integrated into a larger conglom with cable programming assets. SNI has a market cap of about $11 billion, with the stock closing Tuesday at $75.26, up 52 cents.

"Discovery is known to have kicked the tires on SNI in the past, as has NBCUniversal, Fox and Disney. Disney is said to have been in advanced talks to acquire SNI about three years ago — until board member Steve Jobs nixed the deal, reportedly out of his lack of faith in the future of linear channels."

In a later, follow-up report, Littleton wrote:

"SNI shares soared 14.5% after Variety reported that Discovery board members discussed the possibility of a bid at the company’s board meeting Tuesday.

"SNI shares hit $86.15 in a flurry of after-hours activity, well past the company’s 52-week high of $81.21. The stock was up less than 1%, at $75.25, at close of regular trading.

"Reps for Discovery and SNI declined comment on the prospect of a sale."

The following is from the Scripps Networks Interactive website:

HGTV is America's leader in home and lifestyle programming. The network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and is one of cable's top-rated networks.

DIY Network is the television source for the best know-how and how-to when it comes to any type of do-it-yourself project. It's distributed to more than 56 million U.S. households.

Food Network is a unique lifestyle network that strives to surprise and engage its viewers with likable hosts and personalities, and the variety of things they do with food. The network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households.

Cooking Channel is an entertainment brand dedicated to today's more passionate food lover. Distributed to more than 60 million U.S. households, its a network for food people by food people, sparking the conversations that fuel people's passion for food and cooking.

Travel Channel is the only television network devoted exclusively to travel entertainment. Distributed to more than 94 million U.S. households, the network offers a vast array of consumer touch points that directly engage travelers ready to engage travelers everywhere.

Great American Country is America's main street for the widest variety of country music, its artists and the lifestyles they influence. Great American Country is distributed to more than 60 million U.S. households.​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​​​​

From 1997 to mid-2007, Discovery Communications co-owned and then owned the Travel Channel. Scripps now owns 65% of Travel; the remaining 35% is owned by Cox Communications.

Another page on the Scripps Networks Interactive website says:

CityEats is the premier destination for dining out — because you are where you eat. Created in partnership with Food Network, CityEats is the best way to explore restaurants in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York, and book some of the hottest tables in town.