Discovery Communications LLC
(DCL) is an American
global media and entertainment company that began as a single channel, the Discovery Channel
, launched in 1985. Today, DCL has global operations offering 29 network entertainment brands on over 100 channels in over 170 countries in 33 languages for over 1.5 billion subscribers around the globe.
Discovery Communications is based in Silver Spring, Maryland
DCL both produces original programming and acquires content from producers worldwide. This non-fiction programming is offered through DCL's 28 network entertainment brands, including Discovery Channel, TLC (The Learning Channel), Animal Planet, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids and a family of digital channels. DCL also distributes BBC America, BBC World, and Travel Channel to cable and satellite operators in the United States.
Visual effects artists who worked for the now bankrupt Meteor Studios, a company established by Discovery Communications of Virginia and Evergreen Films of Pacific Palisades, have not been paid fully for their work on Journey to the Center of the Earth. Maryland-based Discovery VP and spokesperson Katie Wolfgang has stated that Discovery holds a "passive non-controlling interest" in Meteor, and that "matters related to the management of Meteor Studios, its employees and operations were handled by Meteor Studios' principals.
Judith A. McHale
is the former President and Chief Executive Officer. On Thursday, November 16, 2006, Discovery Communications announced that NBC Universal
executive David Zaslav
will be the next president and CEO.
Then in February 2007, the newly appointed CEO David Zaslav ordered a restructuring of the top executives. The executives leaving include: Billy Campbell, former president of Discovery Networks U.S.A., Dawn McCall, former president of Discovery Networks International, Maureen Smith, former president and general manager of Animal Planet and David Abraham, former president and general manager of TLC.
Zaslav hired Greg Ricca to run Discovery Networks Intl. as president and CEO. He promoted Mark Hollinger to president of global businesses and Operations, Marjorie Kaplan to president and general manager of Animal Planet Media and Discovery Kids Media, and Jane Root to prexy general manager of the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel.
DCL's ownership formerly consisted of three shareholders:
On September 18, 2008, Discovery's ownership structure was consolidated, and it became a fully public company.
Spin-off and restructuring
On December 13 2007
, Discovery Communication's parent, Discovery Holdings, announced that it plans combine Discovery Communications with its other subsidiary, Advance/Newhouse Communications, into a new holding company
The new company operates under the name Discovery Communications. As a part of the plan, Discovery Holdings spun-off its remaining Ascent Media business to share holders in a separate IPO.
DCL operates its businesses in four groups: Discovery Networks U.S., Discovery Networks International, Discovery Commerce, and Discovery Education.
Discovery Networks U.S.
Discovery Networks U.S. operates 12 English-language channels, three Spanish-language channels
According to SEC filings, the division "also operates web sites related to its channel businesses and various other new media businesses, including a video-on-demand offering distributed by various cable operators." All of the channels are in the process of being overhauled and "made over".
Many channels already have new logos such as the Science Channel, and Animal Planet to follow in February 2008.
The division's channels include:
In 2006, Discovery moved to expand its reach beyond traditional TV with the launch of several new businesses including Discovery Travel Media, Discovery Health Media, and Animal Planet Media Enterprises. Also in 2006, Discovery began providing video segments to Google Earth to help users explore U.S. national parks and European cities. In 2007 Travel Media was sold to Cox Communications.
In January 2006, Discovery announced that former ABC “Nightline” host Ted Koppel was joining the network as a managing editor, and would produce long-form journalism “examining major global topics and events.”
DCL fully owns and operates all of the above channels with the exception of the BBC channels and the Travel Channel.
All of DCL's U.S. networks are broadcast from the Discovery Television and Technology Center located in Sterling, VA.
Discovery Networks International
Discovery Networks International, or Discovery international networks offers "a portfolio of channels, led by Discovery Channel
and Animal Planet
, that are distributed in virtually every pay-television market in the world." The division offers over 100 separate feeds in 35 languages with "channel feeds customized according to language needs and advertising sales opportunities."
DCL owns most channels offered by Discovery Networks International, with the exception of:
- (1) the international Animal Planet channels, which are "generally 50-50 joint ventures with the BBC"
- (2) People+Arts, which "operates in Latin America and Iberia as a 50-50 joint venture with the BBC"
- (3) several channels in Japan and Canada, which "operate as joint ventures with strategically important local partners."
"As with the U.S. networks division, the international networks operate web sites and other new media businesses."
On January 10, 2006, the Discovery Networks International announced a joint-venture with Spiegel TV and DCTF to provide global free-to-air television to more than 20 million households in Germany and neighboring countries.
As of January 2006, Discovery International Channels included:
- ASIA/INDIA: Discovery Channel Southeast Asia, Discovery Channel Taiwan, Discovery Channel New Zealand, Discovery Channel Australia, Discovery Channel Japan, Discovery Channel Korea, Discovery Channel India , Animal Planet Southeast Asia, Animal Planet Taiwan, Animal Planet Australia/New Zealand, Animal Planet Japan, Animal Planet India, Discovery Travel & Living Southeast Asia, Discovery Travel & Living Taiwan, Discovery Travel & Living Australia/New Zealand, Discovery Travel & Living India , Discovery Science Southeast Asia, Discovery Home and Health Southeast Asia, Discovery Real Time Asia, Discovery HD Japan
- UK/Ireland: Discovery Channel, Discovery Home & Health, Animal Planet, Discovery Real Time, Discovery Real Time Extra, Discovery Science, Discovery Civilisation, Discovery Travel & Living, Discovery Kids, Discovery Wings, Discovery Turbo, DMAX (UK)
- EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA (EMEA): Discovery Channel Benelux, Discovery Channel Europe, Discovery Channel Poland, Discovery Channel ME/Africa, Discovery Channel Turkey, Discovery Channel Nordic, Discovery Channel Sweden, Discovery Channel Denmark, Discovery Channel Italy, Discovery Channel France, Discovery Channel Germany, Discovery Channel Hungary, Animal Planet Benelux, Animal Planet Nordic, Animal Planet Europe, Animal Planet France, Animal Planet Poland, Animal Planet ME/Africa, Animal Planet Germany, Animal Planet Italy, Discovery Science Europe/ME, Discovery Science Italy, Discovery Civilisation Europe, Discovery Civilisation Italy, Discovery Civilisation ME, Discovery Real Time Italy, Discovery Real Time France, Discovery Travel & Living Europe, Discovery Travel & Living Italy,Discovery Geschichte
- LATIN AMERICAN/IBERIA: Discovery Channel Latin America, Discovery Channel Venezuela, Discovery Channel Mexico, Discovery Channel Brazil, Discovery Channel Argentina, Discovery Channel Iberia (Spain/Portugal), Animal Planet Latin America,Animal Planet Brazil, Discovery Kids Latin America, Discovery Kids Brazil, Discovery Kids Mexico, People+Arts Argentina, People+Arts Latin America, People+Arts Iberia (Spain/Portugal), People+Arts Mexico, People+Arts Brazil, Discovery Travel & Living Latin America Discovery Travel & Living Brazil, Discovery Home & Health Latin America,Discovery Home & Health Brazil, Discovery Science, Discovery Civilization, Discovery Turbo
- CANADA: Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Civilization Channel, Discovery Health, Discovery Kids, Discovery HD
In the United Kingdom, Discovery broadcasts a bouquet of 14 channels (including timeshifts) on digital television.
Discovery Commerce operates a catalog and electronic commerce business (located at shopping.discovery.com
) offering lifestyle, health, science and education-oriented products, as well as products specifically related to programming on Discovery's networks. In addition, the e-commerce site serves as a licensing business that licenses Discovery trademarks and intellectual property to third parties for the purpose of creating and selling retail merchandise. The Discovery shopping website offers products similar to those previously sold in the Discovery Channel retail stores. Recently the Discovery Channel retail stores were closed, however, the products are still available online.
Discovery Education is a division which offers "streaming educational video material into schools via the internet." Discovery Education operates unitedstreaming
, a "leading educational broadband streaming service in the United States." In April of 2006, Discovery Education acquired a premier assessment company, ThinkLink Learning, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Now called Discovery Education Assessments, the program is designed to help students improve on state standardized tests.
Discovery Education also sells DVD, VHS, CD-ROM, and Multimedia kits with the same content.
Other products include COSMEO -an online homework subscription help site, Discovery Health Connection, Discovery Science Connection and they recently purchased other video streaming companies.
They have two free services. One is their website, Discovery School and the other is a teacher community, the Discovery Educator Network, commonly referred to as the DEN.