StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

US Nonfiction Networks: A Useful Chart of Enterprise Valuations, Including Discovery, A+E, Scripps, Nat Geo & Others

Scale matters!

And who could believe the financial scale attained by the non-fiction television sector since the launch of Discovery Channel in the mid ‘Eighties?

We analyzed the ‘Enterprise Value’ of leading non-fiction channel groups in a recent post.

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!