Discovery Borrows $500 Million to Weather Coronavirus Pandemic

Company retracted its full year performance outlook due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 impact

David Zaslav

Discovery revealed in an SEC filing on Tuesday that it recently borrowed $500 million from a revolving credit facility due to the uncertain economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

“On March 12, 2020, the Company drew down $500 million under the credit facility to increase its cash position and maximize flexibility in light of the current uncertainty surrounding the impact of COVID-19. The Company has upcoming corporate debt maturities in June 2020 of $600 million and in June 2021 of $640 million,” the company said in the filing.

The media giant also retracted its full-year outlook for 2020 that it gave to analysts in late February, pointing to “unprecedented economic uncertainty” surrounding the eventual impact from COVID-19, which has infected more than 300,000 people around the world.

On Tuesday, the IOC officially postponed the Tokyo Olympics until next summer, for which Discovery’s Eurosport held the European TV rights in many countries.

On the positive side, Discovery said it was seeing increased TV ratings around the world while everyone is forced to isolate at home.

“As a result of the global pandemic, television viewing audiences around the globe have increased dramatically,” the company wrote. “As such, the Company has experienced an increase in ratings and delivery across many television viewing markets as many people are self-isolating at home. This is helping to offset attributed weakness from economic conditions, and the Company is evaluating the impact of improved ratings and delivery on its performance.”