Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Full Year and Q4 2017 Discovery Communications Earnings Conference Call.
I would now like to introduce your host for today's conference call, Mr. Andrew Slabin, EVP, Global Investor Strategy. You may begin, sir.
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us for Discovery Communications' full-year and fourth quarter 2017 earnings call. Joining me today are David Zaslav, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Gunnar Wiedenfels, our Chief Financial Officer. You should have received our earnings release, but if not, feel free to access it on our website at www.discoverycommunications.com.
On today's call, we will begin with some opening comments from David and Gunnar, and then we will open the call up for your questions. Please keep to one question if you can, so we can accommodate as many as possible.
Before we start, I'd like to remind you that comments today regarding the company's future business plans, prospects and financial performance are forward-looking statements that we make pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made based on management's current knowledge and assumption about future events and they involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations and providing projections and other forward-looking statements, the company disclaims any intent or obligation to update them.
For additional information on important factors that could affect these expectations, please see our Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2016, and our subsequent filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
And with that, I will turn the call over to David.
David M. Zaslav
Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us today. Yesterday, we received some good news. We spoke to the DOJ and they told us that we have been given clearance to move forward with our acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. And last night, we received the formal letter from the DOJ. With our EC approval and DOJ clearance in hand, we expect this transformative merger to close sooner than expected, within the next two weeks.
Discovery, with our collection of global IP, brands and strength in non-fiction, kids and sports globally, together with Scripps channels and global content; we will be a formidable and differentiated company in the marketplace. In bringing together Scripps and Discovery's suite of world class brands, content and talent, our company will have the ability to reach viewers and fan groups around the globe on every screen and service across every format, accelerating our pivot to becoming a stronger global IP company with more direct-to-consumer content that can offer advertisers and distributors a high quality and engaged audience at real scale.
As new and deep pocketed players enter the scripted market, the competition and cost to create quality content has become intense, with over 500 scripted projects competing in the marketplace this year alone. This creates a high stakes game, which not everyone can win. That side of scripted
Executive Vice President, Global Investor Strategy
David M. Zaslav
President and Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
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