Discovery Takes Control of Hub Network, Will Give Namesake Brand

Not Just for Kids Any More

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'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,' a series on The Hub.
'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,' a series on The Hub.

Discovery Communications acquired the control of The Hub from partner Hasbro and will rename the children's TV network Discovery Family Channel as it looks to broaden its family and children's programming.

Discovery's stake has increased to 60% from 50%, while Hasbro's had dropped to 40%, the companies said in a regulatory filing today. Hasbro received a $64.4 million cash payment from Discovery under the reorganization.

Discovery Family Channel, which will debut on Oct. 13, will offer kids shows including "My Little Pony" and "Transformers" during the day. Prime-time viewers can watch family programming more in the Discovery vein, such as "Flying Wild Alaska" and "Biggest Reveals," Discovery said. Tonight's Hub lineup, by comparison, includes reruns of the sitcom "Step by Step" and the 1991 kids' movie "Problem Child 2."

The cable operator of networks such as Discovery Channel and Animal Planet sold a 50% interest in its Discovery Kids network to toymaker Hasbro for $300 million in 2009, renaming it The Hub. Hasbro characters such as G.I. Joe and My Little Pony have been a source of programming for the channel.

The Hub Network has grown from almost 56 million homes in 2010 to approximately 70 million today, with Hasbro children's content helping lift the viewership by kids ages 2 to 11 by 89% over the past three years, according to the statement.

But Discovery's move seems to signal bigger goals for adult viewers at night.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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