Tue. Mar 31st, 2020

Discovery Channel Borrows $500 Million Amid Virus Crisis Impact

Discovery on Tuesday pointed to improved TV ratings in global markets as viewers self-isolate amid the coronavirus outbreak.

But the media giant added that the “unknown impact” of the pandemic on its financial results and the Tokyo Olympics postponement had forced it to retract its full-year 2020 performance outlook.

The operator of cable TV channels like TLC and Animal Planet also revealed it recently drew down $500 million from a revolving credit facility to shore up its balance sheet.

“As a result of the global pandemic, television viewing audiences around the globe have increased dramatically. As such, the company has experienced an increase in ratings and delivery across many television viewing markets as many people are self-isolating at home,” Discovery said in an SEC filing.

The company warned the 2020 financial outlook for Discovery offered to analysts on Feb. 27 had been superseded by the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic causing “unprecedented economic uncertainty.”

“As a result of the unknown impact of COVID-19 on the company’s financial results and the uncertainty related to its duration, as well as the impact of the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games, the company is withdrawing its fiscal 2020 outlook,” it said.

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo were postponed until 2021 on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation that the Games could not go ahead as scheduled because of the pandemic. The Discovery-owned sports network Eurosport had planned coverage of the 2020 Olympic Games in 50 European markets.

You can follow us on social media at www.twitter.com/HighlightHwd or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Highlight-Hollywood/193119760769011

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy: Discovery

Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd