Arts & EntertainmentThe EnvelopeCompany Town

Discovery Communications and Liberty Global buy All3Media

Television IndustryLiberty Global IncorporatedDiscovery Communications, Inc.Liberty Media CorporationSatellite and Cable ServiceMichael T. FriesJohn Malone
Discovery Communications and Liberty Global buy British TV production company All3Media
Discovery and Liberty continue international push with deal to acquire All3Media
All3Media has a library of more than 8,000 hours of content, including the British teen soap "Skins."

Cable programming giant Discovery Communications and Liberty Global have reached an agreement to acquire All3Media, a London-based television production company, in a deal valued at $930 million.

For Discovery Communications, parent of cable networks Discovery and TLC, the deal is a further indication of its desire to build its international presence and own more of its content. All3Media has a library of more than 8,000 hours of content. Its shows include the racy British teen soap "Skins."

"This partnership is yet another way for us to work with the best storytellers in the business,” said David Zaslav, president and chief executive of Discovery Communications.

For Liberty Global, which has 23 million cable subscribers in Europe, All3Media will give it content to complement its powerful distribution operations.

"This is just the first step in our mission to own and develop content assets that support our core distribution platform across Europe,” Liberty Global Chief Executive Michael Fries said.

Liberty Global and its sister company Liberty Media, both of which are chaired by cable mogul John Malone, have long ties to Discovery. Liberty Media used to own 50% of Discovery before it went public almost a decade ago and Malone is still on its board of directors.

Discovery and Liberty are also said to be considering teaming up on a bid for Formula One.

The acquisition of All3Media continues a consolidation push among programmers, particularly those that specialize in unscripted fare. Britain's ITV this week struck a deal to acquire 80% of Leftfield Productions for $360 million.

Under the terms of the deal, Discovery and Liberty Global will create a joint venture to buy All3Media through a combination of equity and debt. Both companies will contribute $150 million in cash for the purchase.


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