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Discovery Buys Scripps and its Strong Ad Resonance for $14.6 Billion

On Monday, Discovery Communications announced it would acquire Scripps Networks for $14.6 billion. The deal is not just about more content, however. It’s also about ad clout — and the sticky nature of Scripps shows for advertisers.

Discovery’s current networks like Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and OWN (among others) help facilitate brand spot success in their own respective rights. But in acquiring Scripps and its channels like HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel and DIY Network, Discovery’s officially upped the ante. And made an even greater play to appeal to brands.

Of those top four Scripps Networks — HGTV, Food, Travel, DIY — all possess average view rates above 93 percent for the past month, according to iSpot.tv. iSpot calculates average view rate as the average percentage of viewers across all TV appearances of an ad. Completion rates (percentage of airings watched to near-completion) were similarly high for those networks, at 90 percent or greater.

(iSpot tracks TV ads 24/7 across linear, VOD, OTT and time-shifted viewings, from a panel of 10 million connected TVs)

Travel Channel and HGTV delivered some of the highest marks for advertisers appearing on Scripps Networks in the past 30 days, contributing to the overall high attention scores on those channels (for all brands). Brands like Mastercard, Acura and Bravecto carried AVR scores above 99% over the past month there. The same could be said for KIND Snacks, Loan Depot, Sears, Kohler and a host of others over on HGTV. Those networks’ shows simply carried viewers right into resonant advertising.

The acquisition also provides a potential boost for some common advertisers across Discovery and Scripps Networks. While each has its own independent audiences — and hence, different advertisers for each demographic — there is some overlap here and there that could yield benefits to those brands that appear frequently across both “families” of channels. In the last month, Burger King, The Home Depot and Trivago were among the biggest brands to appear frequently across Scripps and Discovery networks.

This super team still has plenty of work to do in terms of sorting out what should be a very advantageous marriage. But one thing’s already certain: advertisers will continue to flock toward the high viewer attention scores delivered by these networks across most of its programming.