Discovery Communications

by Indica Young
Discovery Communications Logo

Discovery Communications Logo [1]

One Discovery Place

Silver Spring, MD 20910

Tel: 240-662-2000

http://corporate.discovery.com


John Hendricks, Founder of Discovery Communications

-John Hendricks, Founder of Discovery Communications [3]

“To satisfy curiosity and make a difference in people’s lives by providing the highest quality content, services and products that entertain, engage, and enlighten.”[2]

                                        –John Hendricks,1982


             Discovery Communications is the #1 pay-TV programmer and is the worlds #1 nonfiction media company. With 2.8 billion subscribers, 189 international HD markets, and 54 network entertainment brands, Discovery Communications is successful at satisfying curiosity and entertaining viewers [4]. The company began as a single channel in 1985 as The Discovery Channel [5].Now they are a global mass media that operates popular networks such as The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Education, and American Heroes Channel [6]. Discovery Communications is a publicly traded company that produces their own original content as well as acquiring content. Discovery Communications is subsidiary of Time Warner and they operate out of Silver Springs, Maryland [7]. Discovery Communications is publicly traded on NASDAQ stock exchange, but privately held Advance Publications is Discovery’s largest shareholder, with a 31% stake [8].

Headquarters image

Discovery Communications Headquarters, Silver Spring, MD [9]


TEAM DISCOVERY [2]

David M. Zaslav, President, CEO

David M. Zaslav, President, Chief Executive Officer, [10]

David C. Leavy, Chief Communications Officer, Senior Executive Vice President

David C. Leavy, Chief Communications Officer, Senior Executive Vice President, [11]

Andrew Warren-Senior Executive VP and CFO

Andrew Warren, Senior Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer, [13]


 

TOP COMPETITORS [12]

A&E Television Networks, LLC

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Viacom, Inc


FINANCIALS

On November 4th, 2014 the Third Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights were announced. While Discovery Channel has had a fairly stable U.S. market, the domestic network revenue has been declining and David Zaslav has been focused on expanding the international segment of Discovery Communications [14]. Overall, the company has seen a 14% year on year growth in the 3rd quarter. This growth is stemming from the International segment of Discovery, as the International Networks has seen a 32% increase, while U.S. Networks has actually seen a 1% decrease. This growth in international reach is widely due to the increase in distribution and advertising revenues that Discovery has been focused on [15]. Discovery is also widening their reach by focusing on investment for their content to be displayed and interacted with on many types of screen [14].

Discovery Communications Third Quarter 2014 Segment Results

Discovery Communications Third Quarter 2014 Segment Results [15]


Discovery Channel

2014 was marked by success due to its work in unscripted series. The Discovery Channel has seen viewership growth this year. Compared to October of last year, The Discovery Channel has seen double digit viewership, driving from strong returning series such as the 5th returning season of Gold Rush (Gold Rush kickoff was the nights second highest rated program on Friday Night [16]) as well as Alaska The Great Frontier and Misfit Garage. These unscripted series are also helping to drive ratings as Discovery has held 5 of the top 10 unscripted series for persons aged 25-54 [17].

The Learning Channel

The Learning Channel Logo

The Learning Channel Logo, [18]

The Learning Channel (TLC) is a global brand owned by Discovery Communications that initially focused on educational and learning content, but now produces nonfiction lifestyle programming. Popular shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (canceled this fall due to scandal [19]), Breaking Amish, and Cake Boss are what make is a popular nonfiction network, as well as being a top 10 cable network in key female demos [20].

Animal Planet

Animal Planet Logo

Animal Planet Logo, [22]

Animal Planet is an entertainment network and brand owned by Discovery Communications that focuses on life in the animal kingdom [21]. In the second quarter ratings for 2014, Animal Planet remains a top 20 network for males aged 25-54. These ratings were driven by the successful season of River Monsters [23].

Discovery Education

Discovery Education uses their high quality content and focus on education programming to develop a passionate educator community. Discovery Education is expanding their innovative multimedia education products and services as well as serving grades  K-12 in more than half of the schools in the U.S. [24]

American Heroes Channel

American Heroes Channel Logo

American Heroes Channel Logo [26]

American Heroes Channel (AHC) is a network owned by Discovery Communications that carries programs related to military history and warfare. As a network, AHC provides glimpses into major stories and events that helped shape the American future [25]. Shows like GunslingersApocalypse WWII ,and Hardcore Heroes drive the ratings on AHC [27].


JOINT VENTURES

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

Oprah Winfrey, OWN Network

Oprah Winfrey, OWN Network, [28]

OWN, a multi-platform joint venture between Discovery Communications and Oprah Winfrey with real life and emotional programming [28]. OWN brought in Tyler Perry to work on scripted series for the network in 2012, and the Perry soap “The Haves and the Have Nots” averaged 3.6 million viewers, an 18% jump from the previous week according to Nielson [29].

The Hub Network becomes Discovery Family Channel

The Hub Network Logo

The Hub Network Logo, [30]

The Hub Network was a joint venture announced in 2009 led by Hasbro, a toy manufacturer and media company, and was a re-launch of Discovery Kids [30]. On October 13th, 2014, The Hub Network announced that the network is to become Discovery Family Channel. This new joint venture continuing with Discovery Channel and Hasbro is promising because of the success of The Hub Network as a children’s cable network [31].

All3Media

All3Media is a leading creator of content that provides digital content for both television and film [32]. On May 8, 2014 Discovery Communications and Liberty Global announced they were acquiring All3Media, offering strategic support but allowing All3Media to preserve their creative independence [33].


WHAT THEY’RE UP TO

Shark Week

Shark Week, Discovery Channel

Shark Week, Discovery Channel, [34]

Shark Week is a 27 year old annual summer tradition of Discovery Communications that has not only been the longest running cable TV programming event ever, but also one of the highest rated [35]. In August of 2014 Discovery Communications announced this summer was the highest rated Shark Week in history, and is essential for viewers in the 25-54 year range [36].

Survival Live

"Naked and Afraid" Survival Live

“Naked and Afraid” Survival Live, [37]

Survival Life is Discovery Communications new live event programming series, a never done before reality event. Discovery is stranding eight people in the wilderness for 42 days, and their success on their show depends on their skill to survive [37]. Viewers will be able to track their progress on Discovery Communications web platform, 24/7. Survival Live is produced by Adjacent Productions for Discovery Communications [38].

Motor Mondays

Fast N' Loud, Motor Mondays

Fast N’ Loud, Motor Mondays, [39]

In April of 2013 Discovery Communications announced that Discovery Channel will now include a full night of vehicle programming on Mondays. Including shows like Fast N’ Loud and Street Outlaws, Discovery Channel Mondays will now be the biggest destination for all motor-programming [40].

Everest Live Jump Canceled

Everest Live Jump, Discovery Communications

Everest Live Jump, Discovery Communications, [41]

The Everest Live Jump, a Discovery Communications live event which was supposed to air Joby Ogwny’s attempt to wingsuit jump off the summit of Mount Everest [42].  An avalanche disaster in April of 2014 killed 13 and left 3 missing. The stunt was canceled, however Discovery Communications was at the base camp at the time of the tragedy was able to record as the disaster struck. The Everest Avalanche Tragedy is one of the single deadliest days in Everest’s history [43].


[1] “Discovery Communications Corporate,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[2] “Discovery Communications Leadership,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[3] “Driven by Curiosity,” Global Business Coalition for Education, RT: 11/27/2014

[4] “At a Glance,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[5] “The Discovery Channel; Science, Nature, Adventure and Animals That Bite,” The Washington Post, RT: 11/27/2014

[6] “Our Mission,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[7] “Time Warner Cable and Discovery Communications Reach Long-Term Distribution Agreement,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[8] “Advance Publications Waving Around $500 M,” Crain’s New York, RT: 11/27/2014

[9] “Discovery Communications Headquarters,” Stewart Bros. Photography, RT: 11/27/2014

[10] “David M. Zaslav,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[11] “David Leavy,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[12] “Discovery Communications Inc. Company Information,” Hoovers, RT: 11/27/2014

[13] “Andrew Warren,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[14] “Discovery Communications, Best Global Brands,” Interbrand, RT: 11/27/2014

[15] “Discovery Communications Reports Third Quarter 2014 Results,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[16] Gold Rush 5th Season Debut Hits Ratings Motherload For Discovery,” Deadline, RT: 11/27/2014

[17] “Discovery Channel Grabs Double Digit Viewership and Ratings Gains in October,” TV By the Numbers, RT: 11/27/2014

[18] “The Learning Channel,” TLC, RT: 11/27/2014

[19] “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Cancelled after Report Links Mama June Shannon to Alleged Sex Offender,” US Weekly, RT: 11/27/2014

[20] “TLC,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[21] “Animal Planet,” Discovery Communications, RT 11/27/2014

[22] “Animal Planet,” Animal Planet, RT: 11/27/2014

[23] “Animal Planet,” Discovery Press Web, RT: 11/27/2014

[24] “Discovery Education,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[25] “American Heroes Channel,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[26] “American Heroes Channel,” AHC, RT: 11/27/2014

[27] “Three New Original Series Propel American Heroes Channel to Best August Ever in Prime Delivery Among P2+ and HH,” The Futon Critic, RT: 11/27/2014

[28] “OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network,” Discovery Communications, RT 11/27/2014

[29] “Have and Have Nots Sets OWN Ratings Record with It’s Finale,” Variety, RT: 11/27/2014

[30] “The Hub Network,” Discovery Press Web, RT: 11/27/2014

[31] “The Hub Network to Become Discovery Family Channel on October 13,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[32] “About Us,” All3Media, RT: 11/27/2014

[33] “Discovery Communications and Liberty Global to acquire All3Media,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[34] “Its Shark Week,” Discovery Magazine Blogs, RT: 11/27/2014

[35] “The History of Shark Week: How the Discovery Channel both Elevated and Degraded Sharks,” The Week, RT: 11/27/2014

[36] “Discovery Channel Earns Its Highest-Rated Shark Week Ever in its 27 Year History,” Discovery Communications, RT: 11/27/2014

[37] “Discovery to Strand Contestants in Wilderness for Reality Show (Exclusive),” The Hollywood Reporter, RT: 11/27/2014

[38] “Real-Time Series ‘Survival Live’ to Premiere in Late 2014 on Discovery Channel,” TV By the Numbers, RT 11/27/2014

[39] “Fast N’ Loud,” Discovery Channel Store, RT: 11/27/2014

[40] “Discovery Channel Announces ‘Motor Mondays’,” TV By the Numbers, RT: 11/27/2014

[41] “Discovery Cancels Everest Live Jump after Tragedy,” USA Today, RT: 11/27/2014

[42] “Discovery Channel to Air Live Jump Off Mount Everest,” The Hollywood Reporter, RT: 11/27/2014

[43] “Mount Everest Avalanche Forces Discovery Channel to cancel ‘Everest Live Jump’,” NY Daily News, RT: 11/27/2014

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