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UPDATE 1-Discovery expects 12 mln paid streaming subscribers by Feb-end

(Adds details on revenue and background)

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Discovery Inc said on Monday it expects to have 12 million global paid streaming subscribers by the end of this month, as coronavirus-led restrictions kept people home and fueled subscriber growth.

Launched in January, discovery+ houses 55,000 episodes from channels in the Discovery portfolio, which includes HGTV, Food Network and Animal Planet.

Discovery+ has already launched in India, the UK and Ireland and will eventually be available in 25 countries.

Discovery is betting on unscripted programming in categories such as food and home improvement available on its streaming service to compete with rivals Netflix and Disney+, which is popular for scripted shows.

The Silver Spring, Maryland-based company posted on Monday a fourth-quarter revenue of $2.89 billion, above Wall Street’s estimates of $2.83 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data. (Reporting by Tiyashi Datta and Helen Coster, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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