Discovery on a roll

The Discovery Channel is celebrating its 22nd annual Shark Week ratings-fest with a clutch of very positive reports for its parent company, Discovery Communications.

Helped by positive reports from, amongst others, the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency, a Discovery Communications (DISCA) subsidiary issued $500m-worth of long term Senior Notes, due in 2019. The issue was raised from $350m such was market demand. Discovery will receive some $493m from the exercise, and use about $428m to repay debts due on October 31 2010. The balance will be used for general corporate purposes.

Discovery has just unveiled its Q2 results, where profits were up $43m to $183m on revenues that fell slightly to $881m. However, subscribers were up thanks to international roll-outs. International revenues were down 5% to $247m, and badly affected by the slump in ad-revenues which fell 13% to $78m. US domestic revenues were up 2%, distribution revenues rose 5% and ad-income rose 1%.

As we reported yesterday, Discovery has received approval to go ahead with 3 new channels in India, Science, Turbo and an HD channel. It means Discovery now has 6 channels serving India.

Discovery has also decided to join Comcast’s significant OnDemand trial. Discovery has long been a fan of VOD but like many pioneers has waited to see any meaningful return on its investment.