Shares in Scripps Networks Interactive soared by almost 15% on Tuesday after a report suggested that Discovery Channel was considering a bid for the UKTV part-owner.
Variety said Discovery executives had discussed the matter at a board meeting that day.
Scripps, which acquired its 50% in UKTV, operator of GOLD, Watch and Dave, in August 2011 also runs US networks Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel.
Discovery itself is on an ambitious acquisition spree. It already has a 20% share in Eurosport and in April 2013 acquired ProSieben.Sat 1 Group’s SBS Nordic operations.
Scripps Networks Interactive’s history dates back to 1878 when Edward W Scripps founded The Penny Press in Cleveland. The EW Scripps Company (Scripps) became one of the most successful newspaper publishers of the post-war era and built its reputation as a leading operator of local television stations. Following the purchase of Cinetel Productions in 1994 the company launched HGTV.
Scripps Networks Interactive was spun off as a separate company in 2008.