Discovery Communications (DISCA) - Get Discovery, Inc. Class A Report and Scripps Networks (SNI) shares were indicated sharply higher in premarket trading Wednesday after the Wall Street Journal reported the pair have resumed merger discussions.
Both WSJ and Reuters have cited sources in reports stating that Viacom (VIAB) - Get Viacom Inc. Class B Report has also explored the idea of acquiring Scripps, which owns the Travel Channel, HGTV and the Food Network.
Scripps stock was indicated more than 14% higher, at $76.85, in premarket trading while Discovery was seen up more than 7% at $28.11.
Discovery, which counts John Malone as a shareholder, was reported to have held talks over a deal with content production firm Scripps on at least three other occasions in recent years but efforts to craft a merger were abandoned in each case.
The most high profile merger attempt came in 2014 when talks were abandoned after the family that owned Scripps decided it wasn't ready to sell. If a merger goes ahead it would create a $19 billion content producing cable company.
The latest deal talks come at a time when competition and disruptive pressures are increasing in both content production and cable broadcasting, with digital streaming services present a threat to traditional broadcasters and traditional terrestrial television stations.
They also follow a wave of large deals in the television and media space. Mega deals have included Charter Communications (CCHJW) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) , AT&T (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report and Time Warner (TWX) and 21st Century Fox (FOX) - Get Fox Corporation Class B Report and Sky (SKYAY) .