Net income rose to $336 million, or 86 cents a share, from $194 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had forecast a profit of 69 cents a share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 11 percent to $1.12 billion.
The company, whose networks include Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, reported a 11 percent rise in domestic networks revenue to $677 million.
This included a 13 percent jump in advertising revenue due to higher pricing and increased sellouts, while distribution revenue, from fees paid by cable and satellite carriers, grew by 7 percent.
International networks' revenue grew 12 percent to $401 million. Advertising revenue rose 18 percent, and distribution revenue increased 10 percent.
Discovery said that for 2012, it expected net income of $975 million to $1.08 billion on revenue of between $4.45 billion and $4.58 billion.
Wall Street had forecast net income of $1.09 billion on revenue of $4.46 billion.
(Reporting By Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Derek Caney)