Discovery's Zaslav on TV Everywhere: 'Cable guys aren't getting it done'

"The cable guys aren't getting it done" on TV Everywhere.

That was the terse message delivered Thursday by Discovery Networks CEO David Zaslav, addressing investors in the company's fourth quarter earnings call.

Zaslav says Discovery is eager to monetize its content on digital platforms. And if wide-scale deployment of TV Everywhere rights and services can't accelerate, Discovery will launch an a la carte programming service, similar to the $8-a-month OTT product it offers 250,000 customers in Europe.

"The question is, four, five, six years from now, will there be a peel-off of this direct-to-consumer business?" asked Zaslav, according to a transcript obtained from Seeking Alpha. "I think mostly in the U.S., if TV Everywhere doesn't develop the way that it should, which would be a positive for all of us, … it will require all of us to go directly to consumer."

Zaslav said his preference is for authenticated multiscreen services to fully develop, so content such as online courses offered by Discovery's Oprah Winfrey Network could enjoy greater monetization.

"The best way would be a broad deployment of TV Everywhere in the U.S. and maybe taking some of our superfan affinity groups and going after them, the way Oprah is now with offering courses for $60 or $70 to do deep dives," he said.

For more:
- read this Seeking Alpha transcript
- read this Multichannel News story

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