Shares in cable television programmers Discovery Communications, based in Silver Spring, Md,  and Scripps Networks Interactive jumped late Tuesday in after-market trading following reports that the two companies were once again trying to merge, reports the Los Angeles Times, which added that the Wall Street Journal “first reported talks between Discovery, which owns the Discovery channel, Animal Planet and TLC; and Scripps Networks, which owns such lifestyle channels as HGTV, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and the majority stake in the Food Network.

“Scripps shares soared 14% to more than $76 a share in after-hours trading. Discovery’s A shares also experienced a bounce of more than 9% to $28.50.

“The talks reflect an increasingly challenged landscape for cable programmers, particularly medium-sized companies like Discovery and Scripps that are dependent on pay-TV programming fees for much of their income. That source of revenue is under pressure as more consumers opt for so-called skinny bundles or cut the pay-TV cord altogether.

“Representatives of Discovery, based in Silver Spring, Md., and Scripps, based in Knoxville, Tenn., declined to comment.”

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