Discovery Communications

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Not to be confused with Discover (magazine).
Discovery Communications, Inc.
Public
Traded as NASDAQDISCA, DISCB, and DISCK
NASDAQ-100 Components (DISCA and DISCK)
S&P 500 Components (DISCA and DISCK)
Industry Mass media
Predecessor Discovery Holding Company
Founded 1985; 31 years ago (1985) as The Discovery Channel
1994; 22 years ago (1994) as Discovery Communications
Founder John S. Hendricks
Headquarters Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Robert Miron
(Chairman)
David M. Zaslav
(President and CEO)
Products Broadcasting, cable television, and video streaming
Revenue
  • Increase US$ 6.4 billion (2015)[1]
  • Increase US$ 6.3 billion (2014)[1]
  • Increase US$ 2.4 billion (2015)[1]
  • Increase US$ 2.5 billion (2015)[1]
  • Increase US$ 1.03 billion (2015)[1]
  • Decrease US$ 1.14 billion (2014)[1]
Number of employees
7,000 (2015)
Divisions List of Divisions
Subsidiaries Media Alliance (20%)[2]
All3media(50%)
Website corporate.discovery.com

Discovery Communications, Inc. is an American global mass media and entertainment company based in Silver Spring, Maryland. The company started as a single channel in 1985, The Discovery Channel.

DCI both produces original television programming and acquires content from producers worldwide. This non-fiction programming is offered through DCI's more than 50 network entertainment brands, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Science Channel, Velocity, Eurosport and its web-native Discovery Digital Networks business, led by Seeker and SourceFed.

Despite being publicly traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange, the Newhouse family exercise the largest stake in the company, 31%, through privately held Advance Publications,[3] followed by John C. Malone with 29%[4][5]

Led by Seeker and SourceFed Studios, Discovery connects with millennial audiences through daily shows, weekly series, web docs and live online events – from DNews and Rituals with Laura Ling to The Philip DeFranco Show and Nuclear Family.[6] Discovery has 375 million monthly online streams of its programming.[7]

Discovery launched Discovery Channel Online, the network's website, on July 4, 1995.[8]

In April 2014, Discovery announced a partnership with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard to launch digital studio New Form.[9]

In May 2014, Discovery and Liberty Global announced an agreement to form a 50:50 joint venture to acquire All3Media, a producer and distributor of TV programming.[10]

In December 2015, Discovery launched the company's first U.S. TVE streaming service, Discovery GO, connecting viewers with live and on-demand access to shows and series from nine U.S. networks in the Discovery portfolio – Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, Velocity, Destination America, American Heroes Channel and Discovery Life.[11]

Corporate governance and history[edit]

NBCUniversal executive David Zaslav was named president and CEO on November 16, 2006.[12]

In addition to Zaslav, current executives include:[13]

  • Joe Abruzzese, President of Advertising Sales
  • Adria Alpert Romm, Chief Human Resources & Global Diversity Officer
  • Bruce Campbell, Chief Development, Distribution & Legal Officer
  • Bill Goodwyn, President & CEO Discovery Education
  • Paul Guyardo, Chief Commercial Officer
  • John Honeycutt, Chief Technology Officer
  • David Leavy, Chief Corporate Operations and Communications Officer
  • Jean-Briac (JB) Perrette, President, Discovery Networks International
  • Andrew Warren, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

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

On Sept 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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

Divisions[edit]

DCI operates its businesses in the following groups: Discovery Networks U.S., Discovery Networks International, Discovery Studios Group, Discovery Digital Media, and Discovery Education.[17]

Discovery Networks U.S.[edit]

The company started out with just a single channel, Discovery Channel, launched in 1985. In 1991, they acquired Discovery Channel's rival, The Learning Channel.

In the mid-90s, Discovery Communications started developing several new networks. The first of these to launch was Animal Planet, which was launched in cooperation with the BBC in 1996. In October 1996, four digital networks were launched to take advantage of the then-new digital cable space; Discovery Kids, Discovery Travel & Living Network, Discovery Civilization Network and Discovery Science Network.[18] This was followed by the 1998 launches of Discovery Wings Channel and Discovery Health Channel.

They also acquired the Travel Channel in 1997, CBS Eye on People (renamed Discovery People) in 1998 and The Health Network (renamed FitTV) in 2001.

Discovery Networks were early to go into high-definition television with the launch of Discovery HD Theater in 2002. With the launch of high-definition simulcasts of Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and Science Channel in 2007, the original HD channel changed its name to HD Theater.

The division's channels include:[19]

Discovery Channel 1985 92 million Flagship network
TLC 1980 91 million Acquired by Discovery Communications in May 1991, previously known as The Learning Channel.
Animal Planet 1996 90 million
Investigation Discovery 1996 85 million Formerly Discovery Times, Discovery Civilization
OWN 2011 79 million Joint venture ownership with Harpo Productions
Science 1996 71 million Formerly Discovery Science
Discovery Family 1996 65 million Initially launched as Discovery Kids in 1996, relaunched as The Hub in 2010, renamed Hub Network on 2013 and rebranded as Discovery Family in 2014.[21]
40% of the network is owned by Hasbro.
Velocity 2002 69 million Formerly Discovery HD Theater and HD Theater
American Heroes Channel 1999 57 million Formerly Discovery Wings, Military Channel
Destination America 1996 55 million Formerly Discovery Home and Leisure (1998–2004), Discovery Home (2004–08), and Planet Green (2008–12)
Discovery Life 2011 47 million Merger of Discovery Health Channel and FitTV, previously known as Discovery Fit & Health
Discovery en Español 1998 6 million Spanish-language version of the Discovery Channel
Unavailable in HD
Discovery Familia 2007 6 million[22] Unavailable in HD

Discovery Networks International[edit]

Led by flagship network Discovery Channel, Discovery Network International,[23] distributes international brands, including Discovery Channel, TLC, ID: Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science, Turbo and Eurosport. The company employs an extensive localization strategy by offering customized schedules and programming in 45 languages worldwide via hundreds of distribution feeds, distributing an average of 10 channels in each market.

Discovery Networks International has five regional operations spanning Asia-Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), Latin America/U.S. Hispanic, Northern Europe, and Southern Europe, with regional headquarters in Singapore, Warsaw, Miami, London, Mumbai and Milan.[24]

In June 2015, Discovery Communications won the multiplatform rights across Europe to the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024.[25] Discovery and Eurosport promised more coverage than ever across screens to Europe's 700 million residents. Discovery paid 1.3 billion euros for the rights in 50 countries (excluding Russian, and France and the UK for just the 2022 and 2024 games); Discovery sublicensed the free-to-air rights in the UK to the BBC for the 2022 and 2024 games, while gaining the pay-TV rights for the 2018 and 2020 games. Additionally, Discovery has and committed to broadcast 200 hours of the summer games and 100 hours of the winter games on free-to-air TV.[26]

In August 2016, Liberty Global and Discovery renewed their long-term distribution agreement across 12 European countries with greatly expanded distribution rights over the long-term. This deal includes Discovery Channel, TLC, ID and Eurosport. The deal also includes digital rights.[27][28][29]

Eurosport has also expanded its deal with The All England Club to show all the Wimbledon matches live in 16 additional countries. It is a 3-year deal that includes exclusive TV and digital rights. This expands their tennis portfolio to show all four Grand Slams.[30]

Discovery Channel 1989 388 million
TLC 325 million
Animal Planet 1997 307 million
Eurosport Acquired in 2014 154 million
Investigation Discovery 121 million
Discovery Kids 1996 97 million
Switchover Media Acquired in 2013[31] 101 million
Discovery Science 1997 93 million
DMAX 2006 81 million Launch: 2006 Germany, 2008 UK & Ireland, 2011 Italy, 2014 Asia
Discovery Home & Health 2000 65 million
Discovery Turbo/Discovery Turbo Xtra 2005 73 million

Discovery Communications also operates Living Channel and Food TV in New Zealand.[19]

Discovery Studios Group[edit]

Discovery Studios Group is a full service production, distribution and merchandising group within Discovery Communications.[17]

Discovery Studios Group consists of:

  • Discovery Studios
  • Discovery Consumer Products
  • Discovery Program Sales
  • Discovery Private Networks
  • Discovery Music Source
  • Discovery Access
  • Raw

Discovery Digital Networks[edit]

Led by Seeker and SourceFed Studios, Discovery connects with millennial audiences through daily shows, weekly series, web docs and live online events – from DNews and Rituals with Laura Ling to The Philip DeFranco Show and Nuclear Family.[32][33]

Discovery Education[edit]

Discovery Education is a division which offers "standards-based digital content for K-12" In 2013, Discovery Education expanded its reach by acquiring Espresso Group Ltd.[34] Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education's services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries.[35]

History[edit]

After acquiring The Learning Channel (now TLC) in May 1991, Discovery announced plans in November 1994 to launch four new channels, including Animal Planet and what would later become Science Channel.[36]

In June 2002, Discovery Communications launched the first 24-7 HD network in the United States, Discovery HD Theater. HD feeds would later be launched for its networks in the U.S. and globally as the technology took hold in living rooms.

Discovery Communications invested in original digital content in May 2012 with the acquisition of Revision3, which has evolved into its current Discovery Digital Networks business.

On March 17, 2009, Discovery revealed that it owned the rights to several patents related to e-books, in announcing a patent infringement lawsuit against Amazon.com, maker of the Kindle e-book reading device. The patents were originally developed by the company's founder John Hendricks; the specific patent in question in the suit was applied for in 1999 but issued in late 2007.[37][38]

On December 21, 2012, Discovery announced it had taken a 20% minority interest share with TF1 Group in sports broadcaster Eurosport, valued at €170 million (US$221.6 million).[39] On January 21, 2014, Discovery became the majority shareholder in Eurosport, taking a 51% share of the company.[40] In 2015, Discovery closed a transaction to acquire 100% of Eurosport.[41]

In April 2014, Discovery announced another digital investment in the form of a partnership with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard to launch digital studio, New Form Digital.

In May 2014, Discovery and Liberty Global announced an agreement to form a 50:50 joint venture to acquire All3Media, a producer and distributor of TV programming.

In August 2015, Discovery Communications launched Discovery VR, a cross-company virtual reality offering, after announcing its plans in May

In November 2015, Discovery took a 3.4% interest in Lionsgate with Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav joining Lionsgate's board of directors.[42] "As with all our creative partners, we look forward to telling world-class stories with Jon and the deep management team at Lionsgate, and further strengthening Discovery's content pipeline across our linear and digital platforms around the world," Zaslav said.

In December 2015, Discovery launched the company's first U.S. TVE streaming service, Discovery GO, connecting viewers with live and on-demand access to shows and series from several U.S. networks in the Discovery portfolio – Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, Velocity, Destination America, American Heroes Channel and Discovery Life.

In Q2 2016, Discovery shifted its strategy entirely towards digital media, international markets, and diversifying content. In order to make up for shrinking cable network viewers, they have invested in direct-to-consumer offerings and digital distribution channels. 50% of their revenue was through affiliates this quarter. They took a minority stake in Chinese MCN VS Media, a company that has 55 million subscribers in China with more than 320 monthly video views.[43][44][45]

2010 hostage crisis[edit]

On September 1, 2010, the DCI headquarters was the site of a hostage taking, a lone gunman identified as James J. Lee, armed with two starter pistols[46] 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.[47]

The incident began at 1:00 p.m. ET, when 43-year-old James Jay Lee entered the building with two starter pistols and fired a single round at the ceiling of the lobby.[48][49] The Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) confirmed that Lee had an explosive device and was holding three people[50] hostage in the lobby.[48][51] The building was placed on lockdown and most of the 1,500 employees were evacuated.[51] Children from a day care center inside were safely removed to a nearby McDonald's restaurant on Colesville Rd.[48] Lee was shot dead by an MCPD SWAT team at 4:48 p.m. ET after the hostages made a run to escape.[52] The remaining hostages were immediately freed.[53] The incident was described by the FBI as the first instance of a would-be suicide bomber taking hostages in the United States.[54]

James Jay Lee (c. 1967 – September 1, 2010) 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 Savetheplanetprotest.com,[49] 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".[55] 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".[56] Lee's opinions were dominated by Malthusian analysis,[57] 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.[58] The Washington Post credited the Twitter community for initially breaking the story.[59]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Discovery Communications, Inc. 2013 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Russian Government Approves Discovery's Joint Venture With National Media Group". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  3. ^ Flamm, Matthew (13 December 2010). "Advance Publications waving around $500M". CransNewYork.com. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Busch, David Lieberman,Anita (10 November 2015). "Lionsgate Strengthens Ties To John Malone: Discovery and Liberty Global Buy Stakes". Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Grover, Ronald (30 June 2016). "After Lions Gate-Starz deal, the next move in Malone chess match could be Discovery merger". Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Discovery Digital Networks". discoverydn.com. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Media Globalization and the Discovery Channel Networks By Ole J. Mjos, http://books.google.com/books?id=EdKMAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT181
  9. ^ Natalie Jarvey. "Brian Grazer, Ron Howard Launch 'New Form' Digital Studio With Discovery". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  10. ^ "DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS AND LIBERTY G… : Discovery Communications". discovery.com. 
  11. ^ "Discovery Launches TV Everywhere Service With One App Instead of 9". Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  12. ^ Ahrens, Frank (November 17, 2006). "Discovery Appoints New Chief". The Washington Post. 
  13. ^ "Leadership". discovery.com. 
  14. ^ https://web.archive.org/20071231175522/http://money.cnn.com:80/news/newsfeeds/articles/newstex/AFX-0013-21647779.htm. Archived from the original on December 31, 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Information statement: Discovery Holding Company. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  16. ^ Inc., Discovery Communications,. "Discovery Communications Announces Special Dividend of Series C Common Stock". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  17. ^ a b "The Studios Group". discovery.com. 
  18. ^ "Discovery goes digital. (Discovery Communications Inc. to launch four new digital cable television networks)". Multichannel News. September 1996. [dead link]
  19. ^ a b https://corporate.discovery.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/GLOBE_2015_Q4_AT_A_GLANCE_WEB-FINAL.pdf
  20. ^ "A Message from David Zaslav" (PDF). Discovery Communications. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  21. ^ Szalai, Georg (September 25, 2014). "The Hub to Rebrand as Discovery Family as Discovery Takes Control". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Globe: A Quarterly Newsletter from Discovery Communications". April 2010. 
  23. ^ "Discovery Networks International : Discovery Communications". discovery.com. 
  24. ^ "Businesses & Brands – Discovery Communications, Inc.". corporate.discovery.com. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  25. ^ "Olympic News - Official Source of Olympic News". 4 July 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  26. ^ "BBC - BBC and Discovery Communications sign long-term Olympic Games partnership - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  27. ^ "Liberty Global and Discovery sign 12-market carriage deal". Broadband TV News. 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  28. ^ "Liberty Global & Discovery Extend Long-Term Distribution Pact - TVEUROPE". 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  29. ^ "Discovery, Liberty Global Renew Distribution Deal | Multichannel". www.multichannel.com. Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  30. ^ "Eurosport serves Wimbledon further". C21media. Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  31. ^ "Discovery Communications Acquires Swit… : Discovery Communications". discovery.com. 
  32. ^ Spangler, Todd (2013-05-30). "Discovery's Revision3 Snaps Up Phil DeFranco's YouTube Network". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  33. ^ "Discovery CEO Touts Ad Trends, Digital Revenue Upside". Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  34. ^ Communications, Discovery. "Discovery Communications Announces Acquisition of Espresso Education, the Leading Provider of Primary School Digital Education Content in the U.K.". Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  35. ^ "Welcome to Discovery Education - Digital textbooks and standards-aligned educational resources". Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  36. ^ Brown, Rich. (November 21, 1994). "Discovery unveils niche channels; four new services could be followed by more in coming year. (Discovery Networks)." Broadcasting & Cable (NewBay Media LLC). Retrieved April 27, 2015 from HighBeam Research.
  37. ^ Discovery Communications, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. - Complaint for Patent Infringement in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, March 17, 2009
  38. ^ Discovery hits Amazon with Kindle patent suit, CNet News, March 17, 2009
  39. ^ "TF1 & Discovery Communications finalize agreement and move forward to build three-tier strategic alliance across Eurosport, four payTV channels and production". TF1 Group. 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  40. ^ "Discovery Communications to acquire TF1 Group's Controlling interest in Top Sports platform Eurosport". Discovery Communications. 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  41. ^ Garrahan, Matthew (22 July 2015). "Discovery takes full control of Eurosport in €491m deal with TF1". The Financial Times. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  42. ^ "Discovery, Liberty Global To Take Stakes in Lionsgate". Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  43. ^ Ritchie, Kevin. "Discovery reports Q2 profit rise, invests in Chinese MCN". Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  44. ^ Kalogeropoulos, Demitrios. "Discovery Communications Inc. Tunes In to Higher Profits -- The Motley Fool". Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  45. ^ "Discovery Takes Stake in Chinese Digital Talent Firm VS Media". Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  46. ^ "Discovery Channel attacker convicted of smuggling immigrant in 2003". CNN (International). 09-04-2010. Retrieved 4 September 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  47. ^ "Background Report: Discovery Communications Building Hostage-Taking" (PDF). University of Maryland. p. 1. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  48. ^ a b c "Armed Man With Bomb Takes at Least One Hostage in Discovery Channel Building". Fox. September 1, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  49. ^ a b "Suspect in Maryland hostage situation published angry online manifesto". CNN. September 1, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  50. ^ Morse, Dan (September 3, 2010). "James J. Lee's hostage standoff at Discovery was grueling time for officials". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 8, 2010. 
  51. ^ a b Robbins, Liz; Stelter, Brian (September 1, 2010). "Gunman Takes Hostage in Maryland". The New York Times. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  52. ^ Morse, Dan (September 1, 2010). "Environmental militant slain at Silver Spring building after taking hostages". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  53. ^ "Hostages Safe as Police Shoot Maryland Gunman". The New York Times. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010. [dead link]
  54. ^ "New Strategies for Countering Homegrown Violent Extremism: Preventive Community Policing" (PDF). 13 November 2013. p. 2. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  55. ^ Theresa Vargas (September 1, 2010). "James J. Lee is suspect in Discovery hostage case, officials say". The Washington Post. 
  56. ^ Mark Potok (September 1, 2010). "Apparent Eco-Terrorist Holding Hostages at TV Building". Hatewatch (blog), Southern Poverty Law Center. 
  57. ^ Leonard, Andrew (Sep 1, 2010). "How Malthus drove the Discovery Channel gunman crazy". Salon. p. 1. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  58. ^ "Police kill Discovery building gunman". MSNBC. 9/1/2010. Retrieved 3 September 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  59. ^ Paul Farhi (September 1, 2010). "Twitter breaks story on Discovery Channel gunman". The Washington Post. 

External links[edit]