Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) CEO Ken Lowe is betting heavily on international growth over the next year. In a presentation at the UBS Media Week conference, Lowe ticked off some recent deals: last month, the company took a 69 percent stake Indian broadcaster NDTV; it struck a JV with London-based international broadcaster Chello Zone to bring the Food Network to Europe; and the Fine Living channel is being introduced to Europe, Middle East and Africa. Lowe was particularly enthused about the India business. “NDTV’s Good Times is India’s number one English-language lifestyle channel and we see a lot of potential for us there,” he said. All told, the company has invested $65 million in capital for international development so far. And over the next 12 months, Scripps Networks will spend will be just under $100 million for additional global expansion.
The biggest news for Scripps Networks was its 65 percent stake in the Travel Channel, a deal valued at $975 million. Lowe insisted the deal will quickly pay off for the Travel Channel. The company should gain about $20 million in segment profits by switching to Scripps Networks and allowing the Travel Channel to cancel other distribution agreements with Discovery Communications.
Naturally, the biggest subject of the conference was Comcast’s bid to take a controlling stake in NBC. Lowe weighed in saying, “It’s positive news for the cable network model. It also gives some stabilization to what TV Everywhere will look like. All in all, we’ll have to see what regulatory restrictions are put on it.”