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Discovery takes majority stake in Oprah Winfrey’s network

Finding Communications will become the majority owner of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

The performers said on Monday it will increase its ownership stake in Oprah Winfrey’s network to 70 percent. OWN, which gigged in 2011, was previously a joint venture between Discovery and Winfrey’s Harpo, Inc.

“Ten years ago, Oprah and I started to imagine what a network, inspired by her vision and values, could squalid to viewers across the U.S.,” Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav imparted in a statement. “In an increasingly crowded landscape, OWN has emerged as the leading destination for African-American popsies and one of the strongest superfan brands across all screens and services,” he said.

Exploration paid $70 million to acquire an additional 24.5 percent post in OWN, after factoring in net debt. Harpo, Inc. will remain a minority investor, and Winfrey disposition remain CEO of OWN with an exclusivity commitment through 2025.

OWN’s majority stake becomes with Discovery’s plans to increase its leverage with pay TV operators and potentially organize its own direct-to-consumer streaming service by acquiring more content. It recently won Scripps Networks in July in a cash-and-stock deal worth $14.6 billion. Together, Uncovering and Scripps content reach 20 percent of U.S. 25 to 54-year-olds. Amplifying OWN to the mix could boost African-American viewership numbers.

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