Discovery Communications, including TLC and Animal Planet, celebrates 25 years

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Diverse programming, such as “Shark Week” and “Say Yes to the Dress,” has long made Discovery Communications, which operates the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel and Animal Planet, popular with American audiences. The Silver Spring-based media company, which celebrated 25 years in business last week, is winning new fans on Wall Street by aggressively expanding its global footprint.

The company has had an international presence since 1989, but in the past two years, it has launched a number of networks in Britain, India and Russia, in addition to rolling out high-definition programming in 17 global markets. Discovery has at least five channels in 180 countries. And revenue from its global operations is accounting for a larger portion of its total intake.

With the United States' pay-TV market largely saturated, Michael Corty, an analyst at Morningstar in Chicago, expects Discovery’s growth to be fueled by international expansion. Indeed, Discovery’s chief executive, David Zaslav, said that within 18 months the company will debut TLC in 100 million homes outside the United States.

Full story: Silver Spring’s Discovery, including TLC and Animal Planet, turns 25