Scripps Networks Sees All-Time High in Demand for Branded Integrations

No Near-Term Plans to Launch a Streaming Video Service

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Lori Hickok, chief financial officer, Scripps Networks Interactive.
Lori Hickok, chief financial officer, Scripps Networks Interactive. Credit: Courtesy Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps Networks has a long history in brand integrations, but CEO Ken Lowe said the company is witnessing an all-time high in demand for such product placements this year.

The cable programmer, whose networks include Food Network, HGTV and DIY, among others, gave a picture of the ad market from its perspective at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York on Tuesday.

"The ad market is quite healthy," said Lori Hickok, exec VP-chief financial officer, Scripps, saying it is working out "just like we predicted."

Business started out slow but picked up in the second half, Ms. Hickok said. And the third quarter saw an increase in pricing in the scatter market. She also noted that options to cancel buys are at or below normal rates.

"TV is not dead," she said, adding that it is an effective medium and marketers are seeing that and starting to come back.

Looking ahead to 2016, Mr. Lowe said he is excited about digital opportunities that allow Scripps to cash in on its content in different ways. Scripps will announce an initiative in the next few days relatied to the creation of digital content, he said.

On the subject of the traditional cable bundle, which is facing surging competition, Mr. Lowe said "the bundles still makes sense" and expects it to be around for a long time -- even if it might shrink and some channels could go digital-only.

Scripps has no immediate plans to do a streaming deal or create and over-the-top service, Mr. Lowe said.

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