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Discovery bulks up with Knowledge.

NEW YORK Discovery Communications has added another cable network to its bulging portfolio, Knowledge TV, which reaches about 20 million subscribers.

The seller is the Jones Education Co., headed by Glenn Jones, who sold his 1.5-million-subscriber cable operation last year to Comcast. Informed persons say Jones decided that it would be too expensive to buy the cable system clearances necessary to double Knowledge TV's subscriber base.

Discovery has the bankroll to pay big bucks to cable operators to drive the circulation of Knowledge TV. At the going rate of $7 a subscriber, Discovery would have to be prepared to pay operators as much as $210 million to move the subscriber count to 50 million.

While declining to talk about financial blueprints, Bill Goodwyn, senior VP of affiliate sales and marketing for Discovery Communications, said, "Any cable network with less than 30 million subscribers has to develop a strategy to get to 50 million or it could go out of business."

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Author:Dempsey, John
Publication:Variety
Date:Jun 21, 1999
Words:161
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