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Never Been a Better Time for Media: Discovery CEO

With the proliferation of online distribution platforms like Netflix, Amazon and TV Everywhere, there's never been a better time to be in the media business if you own your content, Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

AP

"We have traditional cable business domestically and around the world and now we're selling to Amazon, to Netflix, to Lovefilm over in Europe. The cable guys want more content for TV everywhere," the cable channel CEO said Monday.

As Internet and mobile platforms look for this new content, Discovery could see substantial growth because it owns its own, Zaslav said. (Read More: Icahn To CNBC: 'I'm Buying Netflix Because It's Undervalued'.)

It's a small business now, but Zaslav said, "The economics are substantial."

"If you look at all of the new platforms, for the next two to three years, there's never been a better time to be in the media business," he said.

There is a question about whether the media consumption on all those other platforms starts to cannibalize the core cable business over time, he said. (Read More: Cable Companies Pinning Hopes on Silicon Valley.)

Discovery Communications has built its cable channels by investing heavily in content. That has helped increase the company's market share from 4 percent five years ago to about 10 percent today.

"This year we invested over $1 billion" in content, Zaslav said. "And our content works around the world so when you look at Discovery, Science, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, we took that content around the world, so this year we'll make more money outside the U.S. than we did as an entire company five years ago."

Discovery increased its earnings from $700 million when Zaslav took over at Discovery in 2007 to $2.1 billion today.

"There's no way that we can grow without better product, better stories and better characters," he said. "You have to invest more in content."

Zaslav added that being global and investing in new content set it apart from other media companies.

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Disclosure: Comcast is the majority owner of NBC Universal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.

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