Communications, television and digital entertainment are facing challenges not unlike those in the world of publishing. Ratings declines, advertising weakness and financial support quickly diminishing have eroded the foundation of the industry over the past several years. Traditional television businesses have struggled to remodel themselves for an era when viewers watch whatever they want, whenever they want, and across a proliferation of screens. Sound familiar? The New York Times brought us this interesting news in their article, “Discovery to Buy Scripps, Owner of Food Network, in $11.9 Billion Deal.”

Discovery Communications has proposed an $11.9 billion deal that unites Discovery, which owns Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, with Scripps, which has Food Network and HGTV, to build a new force in cable television focused on non-scripted programs.

If combined, the company will control about 20 percent of the ad-supported pay-television audience in the United States. Consumers are demanding more content than they ever have on more platforms, albeit digital ones.

Digital view-on-demand programming might be to cable television what the e-reader was to books.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.