Scripps Networks Interactive

by Julie McCullough

9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932

(865) 694-2700

Logo

courtesy of dish.com

Scripps Networks Interactive started in 1875 when E.W. Scripps founded The Penny Press and soon became one of the most successful newspaper publishing companies. The E.W. Scripps Company later evolved, acquiring local television stations. It was not until the company bought HGTV and the Food Network that it became Scripps Networks Interactive, the leading developer in lifestyle media. [1]

Today, Scripps Networks Interactive develops lifestyle media across the platforms of cable television, digital, mobile, and publishing. Home of HGTV, Food Network, The Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Network, and Great American Country, SNI reaches viewers all over the world with the goal of changing and improving everyday lifestyles.

Key Executives [2]

Kenneth W. Lowe – President and Chief Executive Officer 

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Henry Ahn- Executive Vice President, Content Distribution and Marketing
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Joseph G. Necastro- Chief Financial and Administrative Officer JoeSharper

Jim Samples- President, International

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Lori A. Hickok- Executive Vice President, FinanceLori84_edited-1

Burton Jablin- President thmb-Leader-Burton-Jablin

Tamara Franklin- Executive Vice President, Digital thmb-leaders-franklin

 Right Here, Right Now

Cable

SNI’s 2014 Upfront event in NYC revealed 35 new primetime and daytime series for the fall seasons of Food Network and Cooking Channel [3]. Among the new shows were Food Network’s Bobby Flay Fit, The Big Tip, and Chopped Teens Tournament and Cooking Channel’s Proper Pub Food and Compete to Eat. The channels are showing trends of gravitating toward competition and travel shows that take the audience out of the traditional home/kitchen. DIY Network and HGTV also premiered many new series and specials this fall. Among the lineup for DIY were The William Shatner Project, documenting renovations to the famous Star Trek actor’s house, The Property Brothers at Home, and Amish RENOgades, featuring Amish craftsmen as they travel outside of their community and learn to navigate the modern world and work on home improvement projects. 
HGTV series this fall included Lakefront Bargain Hunt, A Hero’s welcome, White House Christmas, and Half-Price Paradise.  [4]

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courtesy of scrippsnetworksinteractive.com

In September 2014, Dish Network obtained the rights to deliver live and on-demand content from all six of SNI’s cable networks on their over-the-top internet service, “Dish Anywhere”. The pact allows dish subs to access authenticated Scripps Networks programming over any Internet connection, on devices including connected TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and video game consoles.[5] At the 2014 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference in September, President Burton Jablin and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer Joseph NeCastro stressed the OTT deal as a way to increase distribution for their up-and-coming networks, Cooking Channel and DIY Network, while giving their live viewers (which make up about 90% of total viewership) more opportunities to view their high-quality content, and appealing to a wider audience of millennials and cord-nevers. [6]

Also in September, Scripps announced the expansion of HGTV into Singapore. The global expansion of SNI’s content signifies the universality of the network’s themes. The expansion to Singapore will include localized original short-form content exclusively for the launch of HGTV in Asia based on the popular series Extreme Homes. Jim Samples, president of Scripps Networks International, commented, “The launch of HGTV across Asia-Pacific signifies the first time HGTV has launched as a premiere 24/7 channel destination focused on home and lifestyle programming outside North America, including the Caribbean. This is a testament to how successful Scripps Networks’ high quality lifestyle content has performed around the world, and we see great potential for this channel offering to drive value for audiences, affiliate and advertising partners alike.” [7]

Publishing/ Digital

At its first ever Newfront presentation in April 2014, Scripps showcased an array of web series produced for its lifestyle video platform ulive, as well as websites for SNI television channels like HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, and Travel Channel. Many web series are designed as companions of SNI’s cable series. For example, “Star Salvation” runs on FoodNetwork.com parallel to season 10 of the TV series Food Network Star, giving eliminated finalists the opportunity to get back on the TV show. SNI’s strong focus on online content, as well as its presence at the 2014 Newfront presentations, signifies the company’s strong adaptability in today’s digital age. [8]

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Vanilla Ice and Rev Run at 2014 Newfront (courtesy of adweek.com)

On Nov 17, 2014, SNI announced a cross-platform content partnership with Hearst Magazines to support the launch of the Citi Double Cash Card. Food Network and HGTV released seasonal holiday content in late November that connect across the holiday issues of Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine, food network.com, and HGTV.com. These holiday-inspired recipes, entertaining ideas, and DIY (do-it-yourself) projects were made to show consumers the two ways to earn cash back with the Citi Double Cash Card. [9]

Financials

SNI’s 2014 Upfront concluded selling just under 50% of inventory, hitting $1 billion in sales. There have been recent shifts toward scatter advertising. Scripps networks are very attractive to advertisers, as they have non-violent, popular, family-friendly content targeted to an upscale audience. There is also a higher demand for convergent buys, in which SNI packages TV ad space with corresponding digital content to appeal to a wider and more diverse audience. [6]

In October 2014, Scripps began offering its employees voluntary buyouts as a way to cut costs. “Each department will address its specific budget targets as they see fit. However, it is likely that this effort to bring costs in line with revenue will include the elimination of activities, projects and positions. We plan to announce any project and/or job eliminations resulting from this budget process by the end of the year,” said CEO Kenneth Lowe [10].

In better news, Scripps Network Interactive’s new cable and digital programming received very positive feedback from advertisers. The 2014 third-quarter earnings results shows that sales increased 4.5% to reach $644 million. “These solid third-quarter operating results demonstrate our unique competitive advantage, and our ability to create long-term value for shareholders in a changing marketplace,” Kenneth Lowe said in a press release accompanying the results [11]. TV station revenue has grown 22% since the third quarter of 2013, up $21.8 million for a total of $121 million. The company as a whole reported consolidated revenue of $208 million, an increase of 9.5%, or $18.1 million, from the year-earlier quarter. [12]

Looking forward, SNI has a promising financial future from ad revenues from both cable and digital. Bucking the trend of television in general, Food Network has lowered its median age in the last two years, due to much stronger growth in the 18-49 demo. At the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Conference, Burton Jablin and Joseph NeCastro outlined SNI’s plan of increasing viewership by expanding the Travel Channel, expanding their international brand, keeping Food Network and HGTV a healthy priority, and increasing distribution for Cooking Channel and DIY Network. [6]

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courtesy of unpluggedtv.com

 

References:

[1] Scripps Networks Interactive- History (accessed October 24, 2014)

[2] Scripps Networks Interactive- Leaders (accessed October 24, 2014)

[3] Eater- Food Network and Cooking Channel Announce 35 New Shows for 2014 (accessed November 27, 2014)

[4]- Scripps Network Interactive- HGTV and DIY Network to Premiere 8 New Shows This Fall (accessed November 30, 2014)

[5] Variety- Dish Adds Food Network, HGTV and Other Scripps Cable Nets to Internet TV Lineup (accessed November 28, 2014)

[6]- Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference (accessed November 28, 2014)

[7]- Scripps Networks Interactive- SNI To Launch HGTV In Singapore on Starhub (accessed November 30, 2014)

[8] VideoInk- Scripps Networks Spotlights Programming for ulive and TV Network Sites (accessed November 28, 2014)

[9] MarketWatch- Scripps Networks Interactive and Hearst Magazines Create Original Cross-Platform Content Partnership to Support the Launch of the Citi® Double Cash Card (accessed November 28, 2014)

[10] BroadcastingCable.com- Scripps Networks Offering Buyouts to Cut Costs (accessed November 30, 2014)

[11] BroadcastingCable.com- Scripps Networks Net Up 2% in Third Quarter (accessed November 25, 2014)

[12]- TvNewsCheck.com- Scripps 3Q TV Station Revenue Grows 22% (accessed November 28, 2014)

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