Discovery Communications, Inc.

By Alisa Sokolova

 

Discovery Communications' logo

[1] Discovery Communications’ log

Discovery Communications, Inc
One Discovery Place
Silver Spring, MD 20910
240-662-2000
http://corporate.discovery.com/

 

Background and History:

Discovery Communications, Inc (DCI) is an international mass media entertainment company. Based in Maryland, U.S., it manages 150 television networks and 33 worldwide channels (both satellite and cable) [2]. DCI operates in 220 countries, broadcasting in 45 different languages and reaching three billion viewers a week [3]. DCI both produces its оriginаl content, which is primarily non-fiction, and аcquires some programming from producers worldwide [4]. The company also produces and distributes educational products and school services, such as digital textbooks [5].

Discovery GO's logo. The streaming app introduced on December 2nd 2015.

Discovery GO’s logo. The new streaming app introduced on December 2nd, 2015 [13].

DCI was initially established by John Hendricks in 1985 as a single  Discovery Channel [6]. During the 1990’s the company developed additional networks, including Discovery Kids, Animal Planet and Discovery Travel [7]. In 1995, Discovery Communications  launched its first website Discovery Channel [8]. Today, the company’s online streaming is estimated to get 400 million hits monthly [9]. Most of the shows are also available on Netflix, iTunes, YouTube, and Revisob3.com. [10] [11]. On December 2nd 2015, DCI became part of TV Everywhere business model, by launching its new streaming app – Discovery GO. The app, mostly available to the pay TV subscribers only, allows viewers to access the content of DCI’s networks from any device [12].

Key Executives: 

David Zaslav - President and CEO of Discovery Communications

[14] David Zaslav – President and CEO of Discovery Communications

Jean-Briac (JB) Perrette - President Discovery Network International

[15] Jean-Briac (JB) Perrette – President Discovery Network International

Andrew Warren - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

[16] Andrew Warren – Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Expansion in Fall 2015:

DCI exemplifies the successful international company with over 300 million international subscribers [17]. With new head of Discovery Networks International Programming and Operations, Darcy Tomlin (appointed in October), this season has been especially contributive to DCI’s overseas growth [18].

DCI's executives hosting the show gathered for the finale.

DCI’s executives hosting the show gathered for the finale [59].

This fall DCI organized many promotional events abroad [19]. For example, DCI’s networks CEEMEA (Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East) hosted an exclusive event in Johannesburg on November 18th [20]. The company presented its major projects coming up in 2016 to it’s 200+ event attendees [21]. Among the introduced projects were Discovery Chanel’s “Sherpa,”  Animal Planet’s “The Lion Queen” and TLC’s “Belief.” The event, hosted by DCI’s executives, was marked by the performances of Discovery stars, such as Andi Rive (“The Lion Queen”), Whitney Thore (“My Big Fat Fabulous Life”) and magician Troy (“Troy”) [22].

Eurosport's logo

Eurosport’s logo [30]

DCI has been strengthening its presence not only in African, but also in European markets. This fall was the first season of DCI’s full ownership of Eurosport International – one of the largest European sport-entertainment networks, which was recently acquired by DCI from TF1 [23]. The purchase is especially important as Eurosport  won the multi-platform rights for broadcasting the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024 [24].

In September, DIC also signed a partnership agreement with Russian Media Group, forming Media Alliance and securing Discovery’s presence in the local market [25]. (So far there are 11 DCI channels available in the country [26].) Media Alliance will launch a development of a new regional free-to-air channel and distribute the Discovery and Eurosport pay TV portfolio. In the Russian market, Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet are the lеаders in nonfiction content, while Eurosport is the primary pay TV spоrt-related chаnnel [27].

International expansion allows DCI to maintain growth despite a recent decline in the US market [28].  Last year, international markets brought the company 55% of its overall revenues, while this number is projected to reach 65% by 2018 [29]. Therefore, more international deals and promotional events are expected in the future.

Fall 2015 Releases:

“Exorcism: Live!”

On October 30th, DCI’s Destination America featured its Halloween-special “Exorcism: Live!” a two-hour broadcast during which a team of so-called “paranormal professionals” tried to purify a supposedly “possessed” house in St. Louis [31]. The show is closely related to “The Exorcist” book by William Peter Blatty“Exorcism: Live!” took place in the house where the exorcism was performed, in 1949, which inspired “The Exorcist” novel [32]. According to producer Jodi Tovay, the main event wasn’t about saving a possessed person, but rather about an attempt to cleanse evil from the house itself in a ritual Tovay referred as “a hybrid of an exorcism and a blessing” [33]. Audiences had a chance to actively participate in the event by following several live cameras put around the house  online. Producers encouraged viewers to assist the exorcism team and report mysterious activity through Twitter, using the #exorcismlife hashtag [34]. Selected tweets appeared live on air [35]. As a result, “Exorcism: Live!” became the #1 non-football live event on cable in October [36]. For the target audience P25-54, the show gained a 0.59 for L+3 ratings compared to its competitors’ A&E’s 0.34 and National Geographic’s 0.19. The show was also the #1 most mentioned event on Twitter on October 30th, generating 29 thousand tweets [37].

Official trailer of “Exorcism: Live!” [38]

“Lost & Found.”

Lost & Found advertising on Facebook

Lost & Found advertising on Facebook [57]

On November 11th, Discovery Family Channel featured a premier of its strongly anticipated “Lost & Found.” [39] In this reality show, produced by Leftfield Pictures, a team of “professional finders” helps people to find someone they have wanted to thank for a long time (for instance, middle school teachers, old friends, and lost relatives) [40]. “Lost & Found” is a fragment of Discovery Family Channel’s “Project Thank You,” which is a multiplatform campaign to bring people together to say thanks [41]. Throughout all of November, the channel is featuring gratitude-centered programming, vignettes and online campaigns [42].

Financials:

DCI is a рublic соmpаny, trading in NASDAQ stock market [43]. Its most recent stock price (as of November 27th) of $31.08 per share reflects the company’s positive tendency over the last three months [44]. During the third quarter this year, DCI’s revenues decreased 1% (from $1,573 million in the Q3 of 2014 to $1,557 million in Q3 of 2015) [45]. The decrease, however, is caused by currency effects, without which the company would gain 8% more revenue in comparison with last year [46]. The biggest sources of revenue were domestic advertising and distribution [47]. The revenues coming from both of these sources have increased by 5% in advertising (from $388 million in 2014 to $410 in 2015) and by 11% in distribution (from $318 million in 2014 to $357 million in 2015 )[48]. This September, Discovery hosted its first ever Investor Day in NYC, which attracted 300 attendees, including investors, financial analysts and industry journalists [49]. During the event, DCI’s CEO David Zaslav announced the plans for long-term international and domestic development and revealed that DCI wоuld rеаch thrее billiоn subsсribеrs by the end of 2015 [50].

Discovery Communication's NASDAQ stock price

Positive tendency of Discovery Communication’s
NASDAQ stock price [58]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projections for Discovery Communications

Louie Psihoyos' quote about “Racing Extinction.”

The quote of the director of Racing Extinction  Louie Psihoyos [50].

 There are several trends in DCI’s future: international expansion, high involvement with the Olympic Games through Eurosport, increase of subscribers and most importantly a transition from entertainment to more documentary-oriented content [51]. Over the past years, there has been a lot of criticism of Discovery’s pseudo-scientific shows, such as “Shark Week” [52]. However, it’s soon to be changed. John Hoffman, appointed this year as a head of Discovery Channel, has promised to bring more factual and scientifically accurate programming [53]. In fact, the impact of this transition is already in the air. This fall season has already increased the expanding list of DCI’s documentaries by the newly-released shows such as “Marooned,”  “Nuremberg: Nazi Judgment Day” and “Melting: Last Race to the Pole” [54]. Furthermore, on December 2nd, Discovery is releasing its highly anticipated “Racing Extinction” [55] This documentary, directed by Academy Award winner Louie Psihoyos, portrays an ecosphere of endangered species and the activists’ efforts to save them [56]. Therefore, there is firm evidence that DCI will remain a major educational entertainment network appealing to large ranges of audiences all over the world.

Sources:

[1] Discovery Communications’ Logo. Retrieved 25 November, 2015. http://logok.org/discovery-channel-logo/

[2] Discovery Communications, Inc. – Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Discovery Communications. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/74/Discovery-Communications-Inc.html

[3] Discovery Networks InternationalRetrieved 28, November 2015. https://www.linkedin.com/company/discovery-communications-international-division

[4] Discovery Communications, Inc. – Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Discovery Communications, Inc. Retrieved 28, November 2015. http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/74/Discovery-Communications-Inc.html

[5] Discovery Communications. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://research.omicsgroup.org/index.php/Discovery_Communications

[6] John Hendricks: How He Built The Discovery Channel From Scratch. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2013/12/29/john-hendricks-how-he-built-the-discovery-channel-from-scratch/

[7] Discovery Through Decades. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://30yearsofdiscovery.com

[8] Discovery Communications, Inc. – Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Discovery Communications, Inc. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/74/Discovery-Communications-Inc.html

[9] DCI Annual Report 2014. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/disca2014_download.pdf

[10] Discovery Digital networks.  Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://discoverydn.com/about

[11] Search Results for Discovery Channel. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://dvd.netflix.com/Search?v1=discovery%20channel

[12] Discovery Communications Launches new TV Everywhere Platform. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.cynopsis.com/story/discovery-communications-launches-new-tv-everywhere-platform/

[13] Discovery Introduces App For TV Everywhere Streaming: Discovery Go.Retrieved 27 November 2015. http://deadline.com/2015/12/discovery-go-tv-everywhere-streaming-app-1201648066/

[14] Davis Zaslav. Retrieved 27 November 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/our-company/leadership/

[15] Jean-Briac Perrette. Retrieved 27 November 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/our-company/leadership/

[16] Andrew Warren. Retrieved 27 November 2015.https://corporate.discovery.com/our-company/leadership/

[17] DCI Annual Report 2014. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/disca2014_download.pdf

[18] Velocity’s Darcy Tomlin Segues To Discovery’s Intl Content Group In VP Role.Retrieved 28 November, 2015.http://deadline.com/2015/10/darcy-tomlin-named-discovery-networks-intl-vp-programming-operations-1201581144/

[19] Discovery newsroom. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-newsroom/

[20] Discovery Networks CEEMEA Hosts 2016 Upfront Presentation in Johannesburg. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/tag/first-heartbeat/

[21] Discovery Networks CEEMEA Hosts 2016 Upfront Presentation in Johannesburg. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/tag/first-heartbeat/

[22] Discovery Networks CEEMEA Hosts 2016 Upfront Presentation in Johannesburg. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/tag/first-heartbeat/

[23] Discovery Communications agrees To Take Full Control of Eurosport. Retrieved 28 November, 2015.https://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-newsroom/discovery-communications-agrees-to-take-full-control-of-eurosport/

[24] IOC awards all TV and multiplatform broadcast rights in Europe to Discovery and Eurosport for 2018-2024 Olympic Games. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-awards-all-tv-and-multiplatform-broadcast-rights-in-europe-to-discovery-and-eurosport-for-2018-2024-olympic-games/246462

 [25]  Discovery to Stay in Russia with National Media Group Deal. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://variety.com/2015/tv/global/discovery-to-stay-in-russia-with-national-media-group-deal-1201579590/

[26] Russian Government Approves Discovery’s Joint Venture With National Media Group. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/russian-government-approves-discoverys-joint-829832

[27] Discovery to Stay in Russia with National Media Group Deal. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://variety.com/2015/tv/global/discovery-to-stay-in-russia-with-national-media-group-deal-1201579590/

[28] Discovery finds rapid growth in international expansion. Retrieved 28 November, 2015.https://technology.ihs.com/551573/discovery-finds-rapid-growth-in-international-expansion

[29] Discovery finds rapid growth in international expansion. Retrieved 28 November, 2015.https://technology.ihs.com/551573/discovery-finds-rapid-growth-in-international-expansion

[30] Eurosport. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.eurosport.com

[31]  TV Review: ‘Exorcism: Live! Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://variety.com/2015/tv/reviews/exorcism-live-review-destination-america-the-exorcist-house-1201629070/

[32] Halloween Scares Up Televised Live ‘Exorcism.‘Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://news.discovery.com/history/religion/halloween-scares-up-televised-live-exorcism-151028.htm

[33] Exorcism: Live! Creator on Cleansing House That Inspired The Exorcist: ‘It Is Not a Hoax.’ Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.people.com/article/exorcism-live-sneak-peek-interview

[34] History or Exorcism House. Retrieved 28 November, 2015.http://www.destinationamerica.com/tv-shows/exorcism-live-countdown/exorcism-live-the-history/

[35] Discovery newsroom. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-newsroom/

[36] Exorcism: Live! Possesses Top Ratings Spot for Live Cable Event in October. Retrieved 28 November, 2015https://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-newsroom/exorcism-live-possesses-top-ratings-spot-for-live-cable-event-in-october/

[37] Exorcism: Live! Possesses Top Ratings Spot for Live Cable Event in October. Retrieved 28 November, 2015https://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-newsroom/exorcism-live-possesses-top-ratings-spot-for-live-cable-event-in-october/

[38] Don’t Miss Exorcism: LIVE! Retrieved 28 November, 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1UKWPkkwHo

 [39] Project Thank You. Retrieved 28 November, 2015 http://www.multichannel.com/prfeed/november-discovery-family-channel-s-project-thank-you-encourages-and-empowers-viewers-have-attitude-gratitude/393778

 [39] Project Thank You. Retrieved 28 November, 2015 http://www.multichannel.com/prfeed/november-discovery-family-channel-s-project-thank-you-encourages-and-empowers-viewers-have-attitude-gratitude/393778

[40] Discovery Family Channel Reunites Grateful Owners With Meaningful Mementos In Heartwarming New Series, Lost And Found.  Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-newsroom/discovery-family-channel-reunites-grateful-owners-with-meaningful-mementos-in-heartwarming-new-series-lost-and-found-wt/

[41] Discovery Family Channel And VolunteerMatch Empower Families To Give Back In Their Local Communities. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/discovery-family-channel-and-volunteermatch-empower-families-to-give-back-in-their-local-communities-300158796.html

[42] This November, Discovery Family Channel’s Project Thank You Encourages and Empowers Viewers to Have an Attitude of Gratitude. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-newsroom/this-november-discovery-family-channels-project-thank-you-encourages-and-empowers-viewers-to-have-an-attitude-of-gratitude/

[43] Discovery Communications Inc. Series A.  Retrieved 28 November, 2015 http://quotes.wsj.com/DISCA/company-people

 [44] Discovery Communications, Inc. Stock Quote & Summary Data. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/disca

[45] Discovery Investors relations, Quarterly Reports. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=222412&p=irol-reportsOther

[46] Discovery Investors relations, Quarterly Reports. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=222412&p=irol-reportsOther

[47] Discovery Investors relations, Quarterly Reports. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=222412&p=irol-reportsOther

[48] Discovery Investors relations, Quarterly Reports. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=222412&p=irol-reportsOther

[49] Discovery Communications Details Plans For Long-Term Growth at Investor Day. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://ir.corporate.discovery.com/mobile.view?c=222412&v=203&d=1&id=2091481

[50] Discovery Communications Details Plans For Long-Term Growth at Investor Day. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://ir.corporate.discovery.com/mobile.view?c=222412&v=203&d=1&id=2091481

[51] Brand Value: TV Content Providers Have Their Say. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2015/11/26/brand-value-tv-content-providers-have-their-say/

[52] Fraud, Deception And Lies: How Discovery’s Shark Week Became The Greatest Show On Earth. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/science-sushi/2014/07/18/fraud-deception-lies-discoverys-shark-week-became-greatest-show-earth/#.Vl9604RX-UV

[53] Discovery Channel Is Finally Breaking Up With Bad Science. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/11/racing-extinction-climate-change-discovery-john-hoffman

[54] Discovery newsroom. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/discovery-newsroom/

[55] Racing Extinction. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://racingextinction.com

[56] Discovery Channel Is Finally Breaking Up With Bad Science. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/11/racing-extinction-climate-change-discovery-john-hoffman

[57] Family Channel Facebook page. Retrieved 28 November, 2015.https://www.facebook.com/DiscFamily/photos/a.155347071181050.33326.119249468124144/898567963525620/?type=3&theater

[58] Discovery Communications, Inc. Stock Quote & Summary Data. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/disca

[59] Discovery Networks CEEMEA Hosts 2016 Upfront Presentation in Johannesburg. Retrieved 28 November, 2015. https://corporate.discovery.com/tag/ceemea/

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