Discovery Nearly Doubles Its Investment, In Return Oprah Agrees to Appear More on Her OWN Network
On August 6, 2010, Discovery Communications, LLC (“DCL”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications, Inc. (the “Company”), Harpo, Inc. and Oprah Winfrey entered into an amendment to their joint venture agreement governing OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network (“OWN”). As part of the amendment, Ms. Winfrey has agreed to increase her on-air commitment to OWN, including hosting or starring in a show to air on OWN and DCL has agreed to increase its funding commitment to OWN from $100 million to $189 million, which funding will be in the form of a revolving loan from DCL and/or debt financing from a third party lender to OWN. The joint venture was granted the right to pursue the distribution of OWN in the United Kingdom and Canada. The parties also agreed that OWN will launch on or before January 1, 2011.
Nothing new here really, Discovery announced at the time of the filing that it would increase its funding and without seeing the amended joint venture agreement, it’s hard to know what upping her on-air commitment means. There was already never any doubt that she would wind up hosting her own show once her syndicated show finishes up next year.