Discovery Shares Soar On Word Of Hulu, Sling Deals


Discovery Communications has gained a new outlet for its pay TV channels, and investors on Thursday reacted happily to the news.

As of 2:30pm Eastern, the company’s shares were up 4.6%, to $32.12—blowing past its 1-year target estimate and, as Zacks Equity Research notes, “is now trading above the volatile price range of $25.89 to $29.55 in the past one-month time frame.”

The reason for the gain? Discovery has a new distribution deal with DISH Network that sees a renewal of its existing agreement for the DBS provider and, perhaps more importantly, an inaugural agreement for DISH’s Sling TV “skinny bundle” IPTV service.

The deal puts Discovery’s channels on both the “Sling Blue” and “Sling Orange” packages.

News of the DISH agreement came not via a press release but from CEO David Zaslav in an interview on CNBC.

That’s not the only news Discovery had to share on Thursday (9/13): The company also has a new partnership with OTT platform Hulu that brings the Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Motor Trend, Velocity and Animal Planet cable channels to Hulu, starting in December. They join HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, which were Scripps Interactive Networks-owned channels that had their own agreement with Hulu.

The Hulu deal also includes on-demand content of shows airing on the five networks being added to the live TV offerings.

Discovery shares have been on a healthy growth spurt since June 1, when they closed at $20.95 — their lowest level year to date. Since then, DISCA has been a solid climber, largely staying above the $25-$26 range seen throughout Q1.

With today’s gain, Discovery stock is at its highest level since July 2015. With shares not at $35 in nearly four years, investors could be propelling the company’s stock well past that mark in the coming days.

Volume as of 2:30pm was 5.36 million shares; average volume for Discovery is 4.06 million.