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DISCOVERY CHANNEL: The world is just ... Awesome

"Discovery Channel, the second most widely distributed cable network in the U.S., is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement."[1] It is an American satellite and Cable television channel focused on providing documentaries on sciences, technology and history through entertainment. 

brief history [2] 

June 1985: John Hendricks, Founder and Chairman, launches Discovery Channel with 156,000 subscribers in the United States, the first program to air is Iceberg Alley.
April 1989: Discovery Networks International launches Discovery Channel in the United Kingdom.
September 1989: Discovery Channel airs its first original program, Ivory Wars.
May 1991:Discovery Communications acquires The Learning Channel (TLC).
January 1994:Discovery Channel launches in Asia.
February 1994:Discovery Channel launches in Latin America.
June 1996: Discovery Communications launches Animal Planet, the only channel dedicated to the relationship between people and animals.
June 1996: Discovery Communications acquires The Nature Company’s 114 retail stores and launches Discovery Channel Stores.
August 1996:Discovery Communications announces plans to launch five new digital networks: Discovery Science, Discovery Kids, Discovery Civilization, Discovery Home and Leisure and Discovery Wings.

November 1997: The Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership launches its first Learning Center in South Africa.

December 1997: Travel Channel acquired.

March 1998: Discovery Communications forms a global joint venture with the BBC.

June 1998: Discovery en Español launches, making it Discovery Communications’ first Spanish-language channel in the United States.

August 1999: Discovery Communications launches Discovery Health Channel.

March 2000:Discovery Channel breaks the all-time cable ratings record with the premiere of Raising the Mammoth.

April 2000:Discovery Channel’s Walking with Dinosaurs breaks the all-time cable ratings record set by Raising the Mammoth.

April 2000: Discovery Channel reaches 100 million subscribing households in 146 countries outside of the United States, bringing its worldwide count to 178 million.

October 2001: Discovery Channel becomes the world’s most widely distributed television brand, surpassing more than 400 million households reached worldwide.

April 2002: Discovery Communications and The New York Times Company form joint venture to launch the Discovery Times Channel (rebranded from Discovery Civilization).

June 2002: Discovery Communications launches Discovery HD Theater, one of the first 24-hour high definition channels.

October 2002: Discovery Kids and NBC partner to create a three-hour programming block, “Discovery Kids on NBC,” on Saturday mornings.

March 2004: Discovery Communications reaches one billion cumulative subscribers around the world.

March 2004: Discovery Communications creates fourth division, Discovery Education, the go-to source for the next generation of video-based learning

June 2005: Discovery Networks US Hispanic Group launches with two new channels to complement Discovery en Español – Discovery Kids en Español and Discovery Travel & Living (Viajar y Vivir).

January 2006: Discovery Communications announces the launch of the 100th and 101st Discovery networks with the launch of Discovery HD Japan and Discovery HD Canada. 

January 2006:Discovery Communications announces that Ted Koppel will host and produce long-form programming examining major global topics and events exclusively for the Discovery Channel.

March 2006:Discovery Education launches COSMEO, a revolutionary online homework help tool.

April 2006:Discovery Communications brings video content to Google Earth

August 2006: Discovery Communications launches, a direct-to-consumer mobile website featuring downloadable wallpapers, ringtones, podcasts and other special features for cell phones and mobile devices.

May 2007: Discovery Channel’s epic 11-episode Planet Earth series becomes cable’s highest-rated natural history program of all time and the most watched cable event of all time attracting more than 65 million viewers.

May 2007: Discovery Communications announces plans to close its 103 mall-based retail locations to focus on its e-commerce platform and licensing opportunities.

December 2007: Annual revenue for the Discovery Networks International division surpasses $1 billion for the first time.

February 2008: Discovery HD launches in Australia; Discovery is now the number-one international provider of HD networks with services in 17 markets outside of the U.S.: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden and the UK, reaching more than four million subscribers .

September 2008: Discovery Communications begins trading as a public company on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Ownership, conglomeration and related channels  

Discovery channel is owned by Discovery Communications inc, which is publicly traded global media and entertainment company. Discovery Communication owns 13 US cable and satellite television network, including Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, Discovery Health, Science Channel, Discovery Kids, Investigation Discovery, Planet Green, Military Channel, FitTV, HD Theatre, Discovery en Espagnol and Discovery Familia. DCI's channels reach about 759 million cumulative subscribers according to its official website.

Discovery Channel is the flag channel of Discovery Channel Communication and has the highest number of subscriptions.[3]

DCI now also possess other ventures, outside of television, such as a professional cycling team, DC radio, stores, websites and a telescope.

Roles in production, distribution and transmission

Discovery Communication inc produces a number of original program for its different channels, including Discovery Channel, but also purchases program from local and internationals producers, providing programming for DCI's international audiences' interests.

"Discovery Studios is Discovery’s internal production engine, creating innovative, high-quality original series, specials and short-form content for the family of Discovery networks and digital media, as well as theatrical documentaries released under the award-winning Discovery Films banner.

For 2008, Discovery Studios is slated to work on more than 300 hours of original series, specials and short-form content. These multiplatform projects are slated to appear across the family of Discovery networks, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Planet Green, Discovery Health and Military Channel, and will feature high-profile talent, such as Bill Nye, Howie Mandel, Dr. Mehmet Oz and more."[4]

branding strategies

"High-quality, mission-driven programming has been synonymous with Discovery since John Hendricks launched the company’s first network, Discovery Channel, in 1985 with a mission to satisfy curiosity and make a difference in people’s lives. Today, that mission remains the driving force behind the programming strategies across Discovery’s networks as they strive to provide viewers with the highest quality nonfiction content that not only entertains and engages, but also enlightens, educates and inspires positive action."[5]

-goal of helping viewers learn about the world around them
-previous taglines: "Explore Your World", There's no thrill like discovery", "Entertain Your Brain" (when DC began to move away from purely educational content and adopt more reality based programming)
-2008 new branding strategies included:
-tagline: "The World is Just...Awesome."
-logo: created by Viewpoint Creative in Boston, new Gotham font, globe previously under the “isc” in discovery has been overlap with the left side of the “d”. The D with the globe has now been used as a simplified version of the logo.

specific target audience(s)
Discovery Channel targets all type of audiences with programs ranging from documentaries to games (cash cab) to reality TV (the deadliest catch). Audiences are usually educated and interested in the sciences

scheduling and promotional techniques;

-DC contains mostly documentary type programming
-Programs tend to focus on popular science, technology, and history
-A lot of reality-based themes such as speculative investigation (Myth Busters, Best Evidence), automobiles, and occupations
-Some documentaries specifically for younger audiences
-annual favorite:shark week

-early 2000s saw drop in ratings now largely attributed to over-reliance on certain shows that strayed from DC role of helping viewers learn about the world (monster garage, american choppers)
-2006 revamped line-up to include more traditional programming that focused on popular science, history, and geography

One program for the evening, air shows by 2 hours sections. American Chopper and Cash Cab every week day in the afternoon/early evening.[6]

-commercials: some commercials use unreleased mix of the song "Wonders Never Cease" by Morcheeba, from the album entitled The Antidote, Typical by MUTEMATH, and I Love the World, created by the 72andSunny agency, which contains amended verses and the refrain from the traditional campfire song "I Love The Mountains”

signature programming and genre trends 

"Popular returning and new series include Deadliest Catch, MythBusters, Dirty Jobs, Man Vs. Wild, Stormchasers and Swamp Loggers. Discovery Channel is also home to high-profile specials and mini-series, including the critically acclaimed Planet Earth, When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions and Life."[7]

advertising strategies;


  1. Discovery Channel
  2. Discovery Channel's HistoryfckLR
  3. Discovery Holding compagny
  4. Discovery Studios
  5. "Engaging and Enlightening with Mission-Driven Content"fckLR
  6. TV schedule weekly
  7. Discovery Channel's signature programsfckLR