As cord-cutting becomes an increasingly prevalent phenomenon, Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA) - Get Report and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (SNI) are joining forces to prove that there is life in the cable industry yet.
Scripps, which offers channels such as HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, will be purchased by Discovery for $90 a share. Discovery is known for networks such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and OWN, as well as popular programming event Shark Week, which runs every summer. After completion of the $14.6 billion transaction, popular Scripps shows such as "Chopped," "House Hunters" and "Bizarre Foods" will join Discovery's arsenal.
The shows on both Discovery and Scripps' networks have long proved popular among female audiences -- indeed, together they operate five of the top pay TV networks for women. According to Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav, the merged entity represents about 20% of the viewership on cable, an impressive market share.
Still, it's not enough in a time when customers are opting for lower-priced streaming alternatives to cable such as Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report , Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report Prime Video and Hulu. Skinny bundles such as Dish Network Corp.'s (DISH) - Get Report Sling TV have gained popularity over the years as programmers have found that offering an assortment of cable networks on a single platform has helped compete with the big streamers.
Neither Discovery nor Scripps airs live sports in the U.S., though, which could dampen the appeal of a joint skinny bundle -- even if it were offered at a low price like $10 per month, as Zaslav and others have envisionedin the past. Without the aid of sports, it could be tough for a Discovery-Scripps bundle to take off.
A different way that Discovery and Scripps could capitalize on their marriage is through crossover programming. Imagine if Discovery were to revive the "Mythbusters" team so that they could help out Scripps' "Finding Bigfoot" crew, which is still searching for Sasquatch after nine seasons? Could "House Hunters" team up with the ghost hunters of "Ghost Adventures" to look for haunted real estate together? Does "Cake Boss" have a place on Shark Week -- and will Rachel Ray host the Puppy Bowl from here on out?
Neither Discovery nor Scripps could be reached for comment.
Shares for Discovery were down 8.4% to $24.56 at midday Monday, while Scripps shares were up 0.5% to $87.36.
More of What's Trending on TheStreet:
- These Are the 5 Worst Tech Stocks to Own
- Watch for the Trading Opportunities That Rebalancing Could Offer Today: Market Recon
- This Is Why President Trump Can Now Blame Apple for Atlantic's Reporting
- McDonald's Has One Restaurant in Poland That Looks Like the Future of the Golden Arches