Discovery, Inc.

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Discovery, Inc.
FormerlyCable Educational Network Inc. (1985–1994)
Discovery Communications, LLC (1994–2018)
Company typePublic
IndustryMass media
PredecessorsDiscovery Holding Company
Scripps Networks Interactive
  • June 17, 1985; 38 years ago (1985-06-17) (The Discovery Channel)
  • 1994; 30 years ago (1994) (Discovery Communications)
FounderJohn Hendricks
DefunctApril 8, 2022; 2 years ago (2022-04-08)
FateMerged with WarnerMedia to form Warner Bros. Discovery.
SuccessorWarner Bros. Discovery
Headquarters230 Park Avenue South,
New York City, New York
Area served
Key people
ProductsFactual television
RevenueDecrease US$10.671 billion (2020)
Increase US$2.515 billion (2020)
Decrease US$1.355 billion (2020)
Total assetsIncrease US$34.087 billion (2020)
Total equityIncrease US$12.000 billion (2020)
Number of employees
9,800 (2020)
(archived November 26, 2018)
Footnotes / references

Discovery, Inc. was an American multinational mass media factual television conglomerate based in New York City. Established in 1982, the company operated a group of factual and lifestyle television brands, such as the namesake Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and TLC. In 2018, the company acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, adding networks such as Food Network, HGTV, and Travel Channel to its portfolio. Since the purchase, Discovery described itself as serving members of "passionate" audiences, and also placed a focus on streaming services built around its properties.

Discovery owned or had interests in local versions of its channel brands in international markets, in addition to its other major regional operations such as Eurosport (a pan-European group of sports channels, most prominently the rightsholder of the Olympic Games throughout most of Europe), GolfTV (an international golf-focused streaming service, which is the international digital rightsholder of the PGA Tour), Discovery Communications Nordic (which operates general-interest channels in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland), TVN Group in Poland, and a portfolio of various free-to-air channels in Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

In May 2021, AT&T announced its proposal to merge its media subsidiary WarnerMedia with Discovery, Inc. The transaction was approved by the European Commission in December 2021 and was completed on April 8, 2022, forming Warner Bros. Discovery.


Former headquarters of Discovery, Inc. in Silver Spring, Maryland

The company was established in 1982 as the Cable Educational Network. Its namesake and flagship brand, Discovery Channel, first launched on June 17, 1985.[5][6] In 1991, Discovery Channel's owners acquired The Learning Channel.[7] Three years later, Cable Educational Network was renamed Discovery Communications.

In October 1996, Discovery launched several new spin-off networks, including Animal Planet, and the digital cable channels Discovery Kids, Discovery Travel & Living, Discovery Civilization, and Science Channel. This was followed by the 1997 purchase of a 70% stake in Travel Channel, and the 1998 launches of Discovery en Español, Discovery Wings, and Discovery Health Channel.[8][9][10] Also in 1998, Discovery acquired a stake in the struggling CBS Eye on People channel; Discovery eventually acquired the remainder of CBS's stake, leading to its January 1999 relaunch as Discovery People.[11][12] The network quietly folded in 2000, being replaced by other Discovery channels on providers.[13]

On September 1, 2001, Discovery Communications bought The Health Channel, and announced that it would be re-branded as FitTV.[14] In 2002, Discovery relaunched Discovery Civilization as Discovery Times, as part of a joint venture with The New York Times.[15] In June 2002, coinciding with Discovery's 17th anniversary, the company launched a 24/7 high definition channel known as Discovery HD Theater.[16] In 2003, Discovery Communications moved its headquarters from Bethesda to Silver Spring.[17] In 2003 and 2004, Discovery acquired academic film companies such as AGC, AIMS Multimedia, and Clearvue & SVE to form Discovery Education, which is now led by Jeremy Cowdrey, former CEO of Imagine Learning.[18][19][20] In 2019, Discovery Communications moved its headquarters to New York City,[21] keeping 300 employees in a smaller hub in Silver Spring.[22]

Zaslav era[edit]

Former NBCUniversal executive David Zaslav was named president and CEO of Discovery Communications on November 16, 2006.[23] In the years that followed, Zaslav placed a major focus on bolstering Discovery's core networks, programming, and expanding the company's reach into digital media. He described these goals as reflecting an expansion into becoming a "content company" rather than just a "cable company".[24]

In March 2007, Discovery sold its stake in Travel Channel back to Cox Communications, in exchange for the stake in Discovery that Cox owned.[25] Cox would later sell the controlling interest in the channel to Scripps Networks Interactive in 2009.[26] In June 2008, Discovery Home was replaced by Planet Green, a network devoted primarily to environmentalism and sustainable living.[27]

In 2007, according to Crunchbase, TreeHugger was acquired by Discovery Communications on August 1, 2007, for $10 million.[citation needed][verification needed] In 2012, Mother Nature Network, founded by Joel Babbit and Chuck Leavell (now Narrative Content Group) acquired TreeHugger.[needs update]

On January 15, 2008, Discovery announced that it had entered into a joint venture with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions to relaunch Discovery Health as a new service, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, in 2009.[28] In 2008, Discovery Times was relaunched as Investigation Discovery, a new brand that would be dedicated to true crime programs and documentaries.[29] The company also formed its Emerging Networks Group, and named Clark Bunting as president[30] and Clint Stinchcomb as executive vice president and general manager.[31] On April 30, 2009, Discovery announced a joint venture with Hasbro to relaunch Discovery Kids as a new youth- and family-oriented entertainment channel.[32][33] The channel, ultimately named The Hub, launched on October 10, 2010.[34][35] After multiple delays, OWN officially launched on January 1, 2011.[36][37]

On March 17, 2009, Discovery Communications sued for patent infringement by its Kindle e-reader line, regarding "secure distribution of electronic text and graphics to subscribers and secure storage". The patents were originally developed by Discovery founder John Hendricks, who had been developing technologies related to e-books and the digitization of television programs. While Discovery had divested the television-related patents, it retained the e-book patents.[38] Amazon subsequently accused Discovery of violating a patent for an "Internet-based customer referral system";[39] The two parties settled in 2011.[40]

On October 4, 2011, due to the wider implementation of high-definition feeds for mainstream cable channels, HD Theater was relaunched as Velocity, a new "upscale male" network focusing on automotive programming.[41][42][43] On May 26, 2012, Planet Green (which had begun to abandon its original concept in 2010 due to poor viewership)[27] was relaunched as Destination America.[44]

In January 2014, Discovery launched Curiosity, a website that aggregates online education content.[45]

In April 2014, Discovery made an investment and strategic partnership with Dog TV, a television network made specifically for dogs.[46]

In May 2014, Discovery and its shareholder Liberty Media acquired British television studio All3Media for $930 million in a 50/50 joint venture. The new ownership stated that All3Media would be operated as an independent company.[47] In October 2014, Discovery acquired controlling interest in Hub Network from Hasbro and re-branded it as Discovery Family.[48][49] In November 2014, Curiosity was spun out as a venture-funded startup, receiving $6 million in funding.[50]

In December 2015, Discovery launched Discovery Go, a TV Everywhere service offering access to live streaming and on-demand content from Discovery Communications' cable networks.[51]

In May 2016, Discovery initiated a restructuring plan aiming to save $40 to $60 million by the third quarter of 2016, including a shift in strategy to "maximize" its linear television business whilst plotting larger investments in content, digital media, sports, and international markets.[52] In August 2016, Discovery purchased a minority stake in the Hong Kong-based digital talent and content company VS Media; Discovery intended to have VS distribute Discovery Digital Networks content in China, and to offer their own resources to VS.[53][54][55]

In October 2016, Discovery purchased a minority stake in Group Nine Media, a digital media holding company consisting of Thrillist Media Group, NowThis, The Dodo and Discovery's digital network Seeker—for $100 million. The transaction gave Discovery an option to acquire a majority stake at a later date.[56][57]

Acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive[edit]

On July 31, 2017, Discovery announced it would acquire Scripps Networks Interactive, owner of networks such as Food Network, HGTV, and DIY Network, for $14.6 billion, pending regulatory approval.[58] On March 6, 2018, the acquisition was completed, with the company renamed as Discovery, Inc. afterwards. Following the purchase, SNI shareholders owned 20% of Discovery's stock.[59] Discovery retained an operational hub in SNI's home city of Knoxville, but planned to move its corporate headquarters from Silver Spring, Maryland, where it had operated since 2003, to New York City in late-2019.[60]

Discovery's brands were reorganized into two groups under different chief brand officers: SNI's chief programmer Kathleen Finch became chief brand officer of Lifestyle, overseeing TLC, the six former Scripps channels, and Discovery's other lifestyle networks. Rich Ross, who formerly served as group president of Discovery and Science, stepped down, and would be replaced by TLC president Nancy Daniels as chief brand officer of Discovery & Factual.[61]

An on-air result of the acquisition were multiple programs featuring crossovers between TLC and Scripps talent, such as the Food Network series Buddy vs. Duff (a cake design competition series starring Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman of the TLC and Food Network programs Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes), and a revival of TLC's While You Were Out incorporating HGTV personalities.[62][63]

On August 3, 2017, Discovery announced that it would contribute Velocity into a joint venture with the digital, live events, and direct-to-consumer businesses of automotive publisher TEN: The Enthusiast Network. Discovery will hold a majority stake in the venture; it will not include TEN's print brands, but there will be opportunities for cross-promotion.[64] In April 2018, it was announced that TEN had been renamed Motor Trend Group, and that Velocity would be re-branded as an extension of its namesake magazine Motor Trend.[65][66]

In December 2017, Discovery announced that it would acquire an additional 24.5% stake in OWN that it did not already own, for $70 million. Oprah Winfrey will remain as CEO of OWN, and extended her exclusivity agreement with the network and Discovery through 2025. Harpo Productions retains a "significant minority stake" in the venture.[67] In February 2018, Discovery sold a majority stake in Discovery Education to the private equity firm Francisco Partners.[68]

Focus on direct-to-consumer services[edit]

During its 2018 upfronts, Zaslav stated that the company was now strongly focused on serving "passionate fans and passionate audiences", and was preparing to increase its focus on direct-to-consumer offerings targeting such audiences. The SNI purchase, Eurosport's Olympics rights, and the aforementioned Motor Trend-branded network were described as being examples of this strategy.[69] Food Network Kitchen would also launch in 2019, with a focus on live and on-demand cooking classes.[70]

In June 2018, Discovery announced a 12-year agreement to acquire the international media rights to the PGA Tour, with plans to develop an international streaming service to house these rights.[71] The service was officially announced in October 2018 as GolfTV, with Eurosport executive vice president Alex Kaplan named the president and general manager of Discovery Golf.[72] Former Amazon executive Peter Faricy, who was named Discovery's chief executive of global direct-to-consumer operations in August 2018, considered GolfTV consistent with the aforementioned strategy, as golf was one of several sports "where people's passions and their interest in participating and learning more becomes a core part of their life."[73]

With Discovery choosing 230 Park Avenue South as its new New York City headquarters, Discovery sold its former Silver Spring headquarters to Foulger-Pratt and Cerberus Capital Management in September 2018, and leased a smaller space at nearby 8403 Colesville Road.[74][75][76]

In November 2018, Chip and Joanna Gaines of the former HGTV series Fixer Upper announced on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, that they were in early talks to form a "lifestyle focused media network" with Discovery named after their personal company Magnolia. It was reported that Discovery had considered rebranding either DIY Network or Great American Country as this new channel.[77][78] In April 2019, Discovery confirmed its Magnolia joint venture, which is scheduled to launch in 2020 and replace DIY Network, with an over-the-top subscription component to launch later.[79] Magnolia Network was originally scheduled to launch on October 4, 2020,[80] but it was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.[81] It was also announced that Fixer Upper would be revived for the new channel.[82]

In January 2019, Discovery increased its ownership of Play Sports Group, operator of the YouTube channel Global Cycling Network, to 71%. Discovery previously acquired a 20% share in 2017.[83] The group is the foundation for an in development global cycling OTT service.[73]

On April 1, 2019, after a previous agreement with the broadcaster lapsed six years prior, Discovery announced a 10-year global content partnership with BBC Studios, under which it will become the exclusive subscription video-on-demand rightsholder of programming from the BBC Natural History Unit (which will become the basis of an international subscription service by 2020) outside of China, Ireland, and the UK. In addition, Discovery and the BBC reached an agreement to break up their UKTV joint venture (which was inherited from Scripps), with Discovery acquiring the BBC's shares in the Good Food, Home, and Really channels, and BBC Studios acquiring Discovery's shares in the seven remaining channels, and its streaming platform UKTV Play.[84] Home was later rebranded as a local version of HGTV,[85] and Good Food was closed in favor of the local version of Food Network.[86]

On May 13, 2019, Discovery announced that it would acquire Golf Digest from Condé Nast to integrate into its Discovery Golf division.[87]

In March 2020, Discovery began to deploy a new direct-to-consumer brand known as Discovery+, initially in India, which would focus on content from across its factual and lifestyle television brands, as well as the BBC.[88] In December 2020, Discovery announced that it would launch Discovery+ in the United States on January 4, 2021, which would feature new exclusive programming from across Discovery's brands, and previews of Magnolia Network (whose linear launch had since been delayed to 2022).[89][90]

In May 2021, Discovery formed a multi-platform content partnership with the Georgia Aquarium.[91]

Merger with WarnerMedia[edit]

On May 17, 2021, AT&T announced that it had reached an agreement to merge its content and broadcasting subsidiary, WarnerMedia (the former Time Warner, which AT&T had acquired in 2018 for just over $85 billion in an attempt to become a vertically integrated media conglomerate) with Discovery Inc. to form a new company, subject to regulatory approval. The merger, scheduled to be completed in mid-2022, would be structured as a Reverse Morris Trust; AT&T shareholders will hold a 71% interest in the new company's stock and appoint seven board members, and Discovery shareholders will hold 29% and appoint six board members. AT&T will receive $43 billion in cash and debt from the spin-off.[92][93]

Zaslav will lead the new company. He stated that the new company's goal would be to "[tell] the most amazing stories and have a ton of fun doing it", and emphasized that the two companies spend over $20 billion annually on content (outpacing Disney, Netflix and even Amazon). The company will aim to expand their streaming services (which includes WarnerMedia's HBO Max) to reach 400 million global subscribers.[92][93]

On June 1, 2021, it was announced that the merged company would be known as Warner Bros. Discovery, and an interim wordmark was unveiled with the tagline "The stuff dreams are made from"—a line from the 1941 Warner Bros. film The Maltese Falcon. Zaslav stated that the name would reflect "the combination of Warner Bros.' fabled hundred-year legacy of creative, authentic storytelling and taking bold risks to bring the most amazing stories to life, with Discovery's global brand that has always stood brightly for integrity, innovation and inspiration".[94] On June 7, 2021, Discovery announced that it would divest Great American Country to GAC Media, a new Fort Worth-based investment group led by Tom Hicks and former Crown Media Holdings CEO Bill Abbott.[95]

Electronic Arts, who were a bidder in the proposed sale of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, purchased the mobile gaming studio Playdemic from WBIE for US$1.4 billion in the same month.[96]

In September 2021, Fox Corporation acquired TMZ from WarnerMedia in a deal worth about $50 million with TMZ being operated under the Fox Entertainment division.[97]

In November 2021, Discovery and WarnerMedia discussed a plan to combine the two streaming services, HBO Max and Discovery+, into one streaming service in two phases: an initial phase that allows for quick bundling of the services and a second phase that allows for a common service on one tech platform.[98] In the same month, it was announced that Discovery will rename itself Warner Bros. Discovery and reclassify and convert its stock into stock of WBD.[99]

On December 22, 2021, it was announced that the transaction was approved by the European Commission and it is expected to be completed in mid-2022, subject to approval by Discovery shareholders and additional closing conditions.[100][101]

On January 5, 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported that WarnerMedia and Paramount Global (at the time known as ViacomCBS) were exploring a possible sale of either a majority stake or all of The CW, and that Nexstar Media Group (which became The CW's largest affiliate group when it acquired former WB co-owner Tribune Broadcasting in 2019) was considered a leading bidder.[102] The news led to speculation that, should a sale take place, new ownership could steer the network in a new direction, transforming The CW from a young adult-oriented network into one that featured more unscripted and even national news programming.[103] However, reports also indicated that WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS could include a contractual commitment that would require any new owner to buy new programming from those companies, allowing them to reap some continual revenue through the network.[104] Network president/CEO Mark Pedowitz confirmed talks of a potential sale in a memo to CW staffers, but added that "It's too early to speculate what might happen" and that the network "must continue to do what we do best."[105][106]

On January 26, 2022, it was reported that the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc. was expected to close sometime during the second quarter of 2022.[107][108] This was later narrowed down to mid-April 2022.[109] On February 1, 2022, it was reported that AT&T had elected to structure the merger as a spin-off of WarnerMedia, followed by a merger with Discovery Inc. to form the new company. The company had been contemplating structuring the transaction as a split-off (under which AT&T shareholders would be given the option as to whether to exchange their shares for those of the new company, rather than receive them pro rata).[110][111] On February 7, the merger was approved by the Brazilian antitrust regulator Cade.[112] It was approved by the United States Department of Justice two days later.[113]

The transaction was approved by Discovery shareholders on March 11,[114] and formally completed on April 8, 2022.[114]

Institutional ownership[edit]

Prior to September 18, 2008, DCI's ownership consisted of three shareholders:

On September 17, 2008, Discovery Holding Company completed a restructuring plan. Discovery Holding's Ascent Media business was spun off, and the remaining businesses, Discovery Communications, LLC and Advance/Newhouse Communications, were combined into a new holding company, Discovery Communications, Inc.[116] The new fully public company and trades on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbols DISCA, DISCB, and DISCK. SEC filings are submitted by the Discovery Holding Company.[117]

In May 2014, the company announced a special dividend of shares of the company's Series C common stock payable to holders of record of the company's Series A common stock, Series B common stock and Series C common stock as of the close of business on July 28, 2014. As a result of the dividend, each holder of a share of the company's Series A common stock, Series B common stock or Series C common stock will receive one additional share of the company's Series C common stock on or about August 6, 2014.[118]

Liberty Global and Discovery Communications paid approximately $195 million for a 3.4% stake in Lionsgate Entertainment in November 2015. Discovery CEO David Zaslav joined the Lionsgate board of directors as part of the acquisition.[119][120][121]


DCI operated its businesses in the following groups: U.S. Networks, International, Digital, Discovery Studios, Lifestyle Studios, and Discovery Global Enterprises.[122]

U.S. channels[edit]

Discovery U.S. Networks logo

There were 19 channels owned and operated by Discovery Networks U.S.

Channel Group Launch Date U.S. Households as of Jan. 2016[123] Notes
Discovery Channel Discovery & Factual 1985 95 million Flagship network
Food Network Lifestyle 1993 95 million Acquired in Scripps merger in March 2018.
31% of the network is owned by Nexstar Media Group.
HGTV Lifestyle 1994 94 million Acquired in Scripps merger in March 2018.
TLC Lifestyle 1972 93 million Acquired by Discovery Communications in May 1991, previously known as The Learning Channel.
Animal Planet Discovery & Factual 1996 92 million Previously a joint venture with BBC Worldwide.
Travel Channel 1987 89 million Acquired in 1997, sold in 2007, re-acquired in Scripps merger in March 2018.
Investigation Discovery 1996 85 million Formerly Discovery Civilization Network: The World History and Geography Channel, Discovery Civilization, & Discovery Times
Oprah Winfrey Network 2011 79 million Joint venture ownership with Harpo Productions, which holds a minority stake after Discovery acquired a controlling stake from Oprah Winfrey
Science Channel Discovery & Factual 1996 72 million Formerly Discovery Science Network, Discovery Science Channel, & The Science Channel
Discovery Family 1996 67 million Formerly Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Kids, The Hub, & Hub Network
40% of the network is owned by Hasbro.
Motor Trend 2002 66 million Formerly Discovery HD Theater, HD Theater and Velocity. Part of the Motor Trend Group joint venture with Source Interlink.
Cooking Channel Lifestyle 2010 65 million Formerly Fine Living Network. Acquired in Scripps merger in March 2018.
31% of the network is owned by Nexstar Media Group.
Magnolia Network Lifestyle 1999 61 million Acquired in Scripps merger in March 2018. Formerly DIY Network.
American Heroes Channel 1998 58 million Formerly Discovery Wings Channel, Military Channel
Destination America 1996 56 million Formerly Discovery Travel & Living Network, Discovery Home and Leisure, Discovery Home, and Planet Green
Discovery Life Lifestyle 2011 47 million Merger of Discovery Health Channel and FitTV, previously known as Discovery Fit & Health
Discovery en Español Hispanic 1998 6 million Spanish-language version of the Discovery Channel
Discovery Familia Hispanic 2007 6 million Merger between Discovery Travel & Living Viajar y Vivir and Discovery Kids en Español, Spanish-language version of Discovery Family
Hogar de HGTV Hispanic 2020 Features original shows and dubbed shows from sister lifestyle channels


Discovery Networks also had a stake of some networks operated by CTV Speciality Television Inc., a joint venture between Bell Media and ESPN Inc. such as Discovery and Animal Planet.

Discovery Networks International[edit]

Discovery Networks International logo

Discovery Networks International had three regional operations: Asia Pacific, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Latin America,[124] with regional headquarters in Singapore, Amsterdam, London, Milan, Warsaw and Miami.[125]


As part of its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive in 2018, Discovery added Asian Food Network (which SNI had acquired from the co-founders Hian Goh and Maria Brown in 2013)[126] to its Asian portfolio.

On September 7, 2020, MediaWorks New Zealand Limited announced that Discovery would be purchasing the television arm of their business including Three, Bravo, The Edge TV, Breeze TV, streaming service ThreeNow, and current affairs service Newshub. MediaWorks said in a statement that the transaction was subject to "a number of pre-completion approvals" but was expected to completed by the end of the year. .[127][128][129] The sale was finalized in December 2020, with the new entity being rebranded as Discovery New Zealand.[130]

On April 27, 2021, Discovery Inc. confirmed that it would be restructuring its business operations in Australia and New Zealand with the goal of incorporating Three, Bravo and Newshub into a single trans-Tasman organization. Discovery also announced that this new trans-Tasman organization would be headed by two general managers, the Sydney–based Rebecca Kent and Glen Kyne in Auckland. Discovery had also separately acquired MediaWorks' TopTV operations in 2019.[131] In mid-May 2021, Newshub closed its Dunedin office as part of a restructuring of Discovery's business operations in Australia and New Zealand. Following the closure of the Dunedin newsroom, the network's South Island operations will consist of its Christchurch–based bureau and freelancers.[132][133]

EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)[edit]

On November 27, 2012, Discovery announced it would acquire Dubai-based broadcaster Takhayal Entertainment, which owns MENA lifestyle channel Fatafeat. This acquisition was then completed.[134]

On December 21, 2012, Discovery announced it had acquired a 20% stake in the pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport from TF1 Group for €170 million (US$221.6 million).[135] On January 21, 2014, Discovery acquired an additional 51% share to gain controlling interest,[136] and subsequently acquired the remainder for €491 million in July 2015 to receive sole ownership.[137]

In June 2015, Discovery acquired pan-European rights to the Olympic Games from 2018 through 2024, excluding Russia, on all platforms, in a €1.3 billion deal. Discovery will primarily broadcast the Games on local outlets (including Eurosport), but will sub-license coverage to over-the-air broadcasters in each region.[138][139][140]

In August 2016, Discovery renewed its distribution deals in 12 countries with shareholder Liberty Global.[141][142] On January 31, 2017, after nearly facing a carriage dispute, Discovery renewed its distribution deals in Germany and the United Kingdom with Sky plc.[143]

In November 2016, Discovery partnered with the streaming media company BAMTech to create a joint venture to serve Europe.[144] In May 2017, ProSiebenSat.1 Media and Discovery announced a joint venture to create a German over-the-top content service, built upon its existing 7TV service.[145]

In August 2017, Discovery announced that it would acquire the remaining 51.06% of Green Content, the operator of the Polish DTT channel Metro, from Agora SA for PLN19,000,000 under a share buyback agreement.[146]

Through its purchase of SNI, Discovery added the Polish broadcaster TVN Group to its European portfolio,[59] which SNI had acquired in 2015 from ITI Group and Canal+ Group.,[147][148][149] as well as the UKTV joint venture with BBC Worldwide (later BBC Studios).

On July 3, 2020, Discovery agreed to acquire the German free-to-air station Tele 5 from Leonine Holding.[150]

In December 2020, the Discovery-backed GB News received a license from Ofcom to broadcast on their service on various British platforms, such as Freeview, in 2021. GB News was set up by Andrew Cole and Mark Schneider from Liberty Global.[151][152][153]

In March 2021, Discovery was made available to beIN Media Group subscribers in the Middle East and North Africa. The two organizations have worked together since 2016, but this is the first time that Discovery Channel itself has been made available.[154]

Latin America[edit]

In June 2016, Discovery acquired a 27.5% stake in Bethia Comunicaciones S.A., a division of Chilean conglomerate Bethia that owns Red Televisiva Megavisión S.A., a company which in turn owns both the private television network Mega and a 70% stake in the anime-, Korean drama- and K-pop-focused cable television channel ETC (which is co-owned with its creator, who is businessman and television executive Hernán Schmidt Fuentes). As a result, Bethia now owns 72.5% of the company.[155]

Redknot, a joint venture with Canadian animation studio Nelvana, launched on February 12, 2019.

Brands and assets[edit]

Channel Launch Date Notes
Discovery 1989
Animal Planet 1997
TLC 2010 A Pan-European feed launched in 1994, relaunched in 2010.
Investigation Discovery 2009 Launched in India in August 2014, then replaced by Discovery Jeet in 2018.
Eurosport 1 2014 Launched in 1989, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2014. Launched in India as DSport
Discovery Jeet 2018 Indian general entertainment channel launched on February 2, 2018.
Discovery Kids 1996
Discovery Family 2014 Joint Venture with Hasbro
DMAX 2006 Launch: 2006 Germany, 2008 UK and Ireland, 2011 Italy, 2012 Spain, 2014 Asia
Discovery Science 1997
Discovery Turbo 2005
DTX 2013 Previously known as Discovery Turbo Xtra.
Quest 2009
Quest Red 2017 Sister channel to Quest
Eurosport 2 2014 Launched in 2005, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2014.
Asian Food Network 2018 Launched in 2005, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2018. Previously known as Asian Food Channel.
Discovery Home & Health 2000
Discovery World 1998 Discovery World closed on 31 December 2020.[156]
Fine Living 2018 Launched in 2010, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2018. The channel officially closed on 31 December 2020.[157]
Food Network 2018 Launched in 1993, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2018.
HGTV 2018 Launched in 1997, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2018.
Really 2018 Launched in 2009 by UKTV, acquired by Discovery in 2019 after being a joint-venture with BBC Studios for a year.
Tele 5 2002 Germany Only. Launched in 1988 closed in 1992 and launched revival in 2002, acquired by Discovery, Inc in 2020.
Living 2014 New Zealand only. Launched in 2001, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2014.[158]
Travel Channel 2018 Launched in 1994, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2018.
Choice TV 2019 New Zealand only. Launched in 2012, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2019.
9Rush 2020 Australia only, joint venture with Nine Entertainment Co.
Three 2020 New Zealand only. Launched in 1989, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2020.
Bravo 2020 New Zealand only, joint venture with NBC Universal International Networks.
Launched in 2016, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2020.
The Edge TV 2020 New Zealand only. Launched in 2014, acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2020.
Breeze TV 2020 New Zealand only. Launched in April 2020 and acquired by Discovery, Inc. in December 2020.

2010 hostage crisis[edit]

On September 1, 2010, the Discovery headquarters were the site of a hostage taking; a lone gunman identified as James J. Lee (c. 1967 – September 1, 2010), armed with two starter pistols[159] and an explosive device, took three people hostage inside of the Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, prompting an evacuation of the building. Lee's motive was believed to have been grounded in environmental activism. Lee had previously been arrested in 2008 while protesting in front of the same site.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland has since labeled the crime a terrorist attack.[160]

The incident began at 1:00 p.m. ET, when the 43-year-old Lee entered the building with two starter pistols and fired a single round at the ceiling of the lobby.[161][162] The Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) confirmed that Lee had an explosive device and was holding three people[163] hostage in the lobby.[161][164] The building was placed on lockdown and most of the 1,500 employees were evacuated.[164] Children from a day care center inside were safely removed to a nearby McDonald's restaurant on Colesville Rd.[161] Lee was shot and killed by an MCPD SWAT team at 4:48 p.m. ET after the hostages made a run to escape.[165] The remaining hostages were immediately freed.[166] The incident was described by the FBI as the first instance of a would-be suicide bomber taking hostages in the United States.[167]

Lee was an environmental protester who, in 2008, was given six months of supervised probation and fined $500 after he was arrested during a protest outside the Discovery Communications headquarters. Lee had published criticisms of the network in an online manifesto at,[162] among which was a demand for the company to cease the broadcasting of television series displaying or encouraging the birth of "parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions".[168] His manifesto also railed against "immigration pollution and anchor baby filth", leading commentators such as Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center to decry Lee as an "eco-fascist".[169] Lee's opinions were dominated by Malthusian analysis,[170] though he also cited works ranging from Daniel Quinn's novel My Ishmael to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth.[171] The Washington Post credited the Twitter community for initially breaking the story.[172]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

  • Official website (archived November 26, 2018)
    • Historical business data for Discovery Communications:
    • SEC filings