By Sebastian Dawson
Discovery Communications – MediaWiki
Silver Spring, MD 20910
- Cumulative Global Subscribers: 2.2 billion
- Countries and Territories: 224
- Languages: 45
- Network Entertainment Brands: 50
Founder of Discovery Communication
The driving force behind dramatic growth at Discovery Communications, Hendricks expanded the Discovery Channel from its core property to its current status as a global content provider. (2)
President and CEO
Prior to Discovery, Zaslav enjoyed a distinguished career at NBC Universal. He now sets strategy and oversees operation of Discovery Communications around the world. (3)
President and CEO
As President of Discovery Networks International, it is Hollinger’s job to deploy strategic development and daily operations in over 200 countries. Hollinger joined Discovery in 1991 as Vice President and Deputy General Council. (4)
Discovery Communications, Inc. is the world’s premier nonfiction media company. It began as a single channel in 1985, but that single channel has evolved into a global media headquarters. Today, the company offers more than 100 programs in over 200 countries (6). DCI’s 28 network entertainment brands include:
TLC is a global brand that celebrates life’s special moments. TLC is a top 10 cable network in the United States female demographic, and features programming like Cake Boss, Sister Wives, and Extreme Couponing (8).
Velocity is a newer, high-octane cable network aimed at men. With more than 400 hours of premiere viewing time, shows like Inside West Coast Customs, Chasing Classic Cars, and How It’s Made: Dream Cars made their debut on Velocity (11).
Discovery owes it to its investors to make smart and economically sound decisions throughout the year. Discovery has been successful in doing this, especially this quarter. Zaslav attributed the success to the “breadth and depth of our brands and the myriad of opportunities across our global distribution platform,” (12).
Third Quarter 2013 Highlights:
- Revenues increased 28% to $1.375 million, as compared to third quarter last year (12).
- Net Income increased 24% to $255 million, as compared to $205 million for the third quarter of last year (12).
Shark Week is an enormously popular special on the Discovery Channel every summer. This weeklong of programming dedicated to the killer of the seas is the longest running cable television event in history. Its popularity can be partially attributed to its ability to harness the power of social media (14). More than one and a quarter million* people follow Shark Week on Facebook and Twitter.
Edward “Bear” Grylls is a UK survival expert who spent time in the special forces. His series Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel has been nominated for multiple awards, including an Emmy. This season, Bear returns to the DC in “Bear Grylls: Escape from Hell.” Each episode, Bear will put himself in dire situations, based on real acts of survival in history. Of the show, he said “I am super excited to be working with Discovery again – the channel where the… journey began,” (15).
In the News
Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” Report
Interbrand is the world’s leading brand consultancy. They have awarded the Discovery Channel their #70 spot (of 100). Their reasoning includes a record-breaking 2012 season, strong first-quarter results, and high levels of viewer engagement (17).
“Discovery Launches Fierce New Digital Network”
The Animalist is a compilation of fifteen original digital series exploring the connection between humans and their furry (some not so furry) friends. The show debuted online with nearly seven million monthly streams. In conjunction with additional distribution partners, the content can be accessed from mobile, YouTube, and even the Xbox gaming console (13).
Discovery Channel Rocks the Vote
For the twentieth year in a row, the Discovery Channel ranked #1 among total adults in its importance to the enjoyment of cable, as well as winning in both perceived value, and favorite basic cable channel. In a new study, the DC ranked #1 as a favorite channel and #1 in importance, among adults who would switch providers were their provider to stop supplying the Discovery Channel (13) (22).
Discovery Channel makes a foray into the unknown with this series chronicling the story of Dr. Feynman, a physicist who investigated the Challenger Disaster. The show debuted Saturday, November 16th to a large audience. Critics applaud for its fact-based approach, as well as for actor William Hurt who plays Dr. Feynman (16).
Discovery Unwrapped is one week of specialized holiday programming running from Dec. 8-15. The Channel plans to use its own programming to teach viewers the meaning of Christmas from two very different groups. Redneck Moonshiners will offer their opinion on Moonshiner’s Christmas Special, while the more reserved Amish lifestyle will present A Very Amish Christmas. The shows Naked and Afraid, Call of the Wildman, and Gold Rush will also have Christmas specials on Discovery Unwrapped (13).
Discovery Channel aims to capitalize on every public event that it can, and this spooky season is no exception. On October 26, Hub Network held its first “Halloween Bash.” Hosted by Kenan Thompson, this two-hour, nationwide costume competition was judged by a panel of celebrity presenters, including Martha Stewart. All-new series Spooksville aired immediately following the “Bash,” (13).
Discovery Education is a division of Discovery Communications aimed at delivering high-quality content that engages students beyond the classroom. Their services include Discovery Education Streaming Plus, where students can have lectures, speeches, information, etc. streamed directly to their computer. In addition to providing streaming services, Discovery Digital Textbook Replacement is working to give students an alternative to high-impact, expensive textbooks. Discovery also contributes to higher education programs (18).
Discovery has always been interested in a clean, pristine Earth. This is what they showcase in their programming. So it’s only natural that they use their popular programming to inspire change in communities (19).
The Planet Earth series captured rare and endangered species in their natural habitat. The DC partnered with the Nature Conservancy during its production, and aired PSAs during commercial breaks, to help preserve the stunning habitats featured in the program (19).
Shark Week often features PSAs regarding shark conservation and endangerment. Last year, during Shark Week, the DC partnered with organizations Oceana, and the Pew Charitable Trust to help spread those messages (19).