And who could believe the financial scale attained by the non-fiction television sector since the launch of Discovery Channel in the mid ‘Eighties?
Here is a chart that captures that preliminary analysis.
Discovery vs A+E
Its very interesting that A+E Networks leads Discovery Networks in the US, where History is the hottest of channels.
But A+E’s valuation lags Discovery’s by 50%.
The principal factor is that Discovery’s international branding effort was launched with full backing from Discovery’s board even while Discovery was struggling at home. Meanwhile, for years A+E’s corporate owners treated their property as a cash cow. They lacked Discovery’s vision to establish the leading nonfiction channel in every market and in every viable language.
Discovery International now contributes 40% of Discovery’s enterprise value, and A+E is working hard and smart to catch up.
Takeaway: Size matters. So does being first!