Oprah Winfrey agreed to host or star in a show on her new Los Angeles-based network and Discovery Communications Inc., her partner in the venture, boosted its funding by 89 percent after costs to start the channel rose more than anticipated.
Discovery will increase the funding commitment toward the Oprah Winfrey Network to $189 million from $100 million, through a loan and debt financing, according to a regulatory filing Friday. The channel will start on or before Jan. 1, the company said.
Winfrey can’t host a talk show on her network until the fall of 2011 because of obligations to her broadcast program, syndicated by CBS Corp. The new show will join a lineup of 17 programs announced by the network, which will reach about 80 million homes. Discovery Chief Financial Officer Brad Singer said on a Aug. 3 conference call that the company had spent $75 million on the venture and the total cost would likely increase because of a late start. The network was originally scheduled to begin in 2009.
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