Discovery Communications takes majority stake in OWN, cable network which co-owns with Oprah Winfrey

Discovery Communications will become the majority owner of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

The company said on Monday which will increase its ownership stake in Oprah Winfrey’s network to 70 percent. OWN, which launched in 2011, was previously a joint venture between Discovery in addition to Winfrey’s Harpo, Inc.

“Ten years ago, Oprah in addition to I began to imagine what a network, inspired by her vision in addition to values, could mean to viewers across the U.S.,” Discovery president in addition to CEO David Zaslav said in a statement. “In an increasingly crowded landscape, OWN has emerged as the leading destination for African-American women in addition to one of the strongest superfan brands across all screens in addition to services,” he said.

Discovery paid $70 million to acquire a different 24.5 percent stake in OWN, after factoring in net debt. Harpo, Inc. will remain a minority investor, in addition to Winfrey will remain CEO of OWN with an exclusivity commitment through 2025.

OWN’s majority stake fits with Discovery’s plans to raise its leverage with pay TV operators in addition to potentially launch its own direct-to-consumer streaming service by acquiring more content. which recently acquired Scripps Networks in July in a cash-in addition to-stock deal worth $14.6 billion. Together, Discovery in addition to Scripps content reach 20 percent of U.S. 25 to 54-year-olds. Adding OWN to the mix could boost African-American viewership numbers.

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