Discovery Communications paid Oprah Winfrey $70,000,000 to earn majority stake in her Oprah Winfrey Network.
Prior to the deal, Discovery and Winfrey owned the popular cable network as a 50-50 joint venture. This new deal will allow Discovery to increase its ownership stake to 75 percent. Despite Winfrey owning less, she will still serve as the chief executive of the network and will work exclusively for it through 2025.
Oprah's New Decision
“Creating OWN and seeing it flourish, supported by Discovery and a rapidly growing group of the finest storytellers in film and television, is one of my proudest achievements,” the media maven said.
“I’m thrilled with the network’s success and excited about this next chapter in our partnership.”
The Chief Executive David Zaslav for Discovery noted that the new business deal will allow Winfrey to be more committed to the network.
“This transaction allows Discovery and Oprah to unlock more value from our partnership; extends once more her commitment to the network, and lets us continue our strong work together to nourish OWN viewers with the content they love,” he said in his statement about the endeavor. After launching in 2011, OWN struggled with programming that aligned with their core audience group, therefore, making there be staff turnover. Once filmmakers Tyler Perry and Ava DuVernay signed on to contribute their talents to the network, rating rose tremendously. Thus making the network the go-to cable station featuring popular series like “Queen Sugar,” “The Haves And The Have Nots,” and “Greenleaf.”
Discovery currently owns TLC, Animal Planet, and Discovery Channel. By owning more of OWN, the company is able to consolidate the channel’s revenue, earnings and exert more control. Its expected to become the television company that has five of the top pay-TV networks for women.
OWN has become the top cable channel for the African-American woman demographic. With its authentic and finely crafted storytelling in both the scripted and reality-television sectors, fans support the channel because they can see themselves realistically portrayed in the work produced.
Winfrey rose to fame with her hit talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show that lasted for two decades on the American Broadcasting Company channel. The Oprah Winfrey Show was known for featuring riveting topics and celebrities that were trending throughout its duration. Outside of running OWN, Winfrey serves a special correspondent for CBS’ 60 Minutes.