Discovery India is in talks with broadcasters for a distribution platform. Even as earlier it was believed that Discovery had shown interest to join the Sony Entertainment Television (SET) bouquet, nothing concrete has emerged till now. But, Discovery managing director Deepak Shourie said that the channel is talking to several broadcasters for a distribution platform alliance.
Discovery’s foray into another distribution platform is being tracked with interest as National Geographic Channel (NGC), is distributed as part of the Star bouquet in India.
If Discovery comes on the Sony platform, the arrangement will be mutually beneficial, according to industry watchers. Discovery would benefit as it would get a distribution push from Sony. On the other hand, Sony, once it’s armed with a variety of channels on its bouquet, would be able to compete with Star better. At present, the Sony bouquet consists of SET Max, CNBC and AXN.
Discovery, had recently announced various blocks on its channel for appointment viewing. The move was aimed at increasing the popularity of the channel. NGC too is aggressively eyeing big ratings by bringing in innovative programmes. After the much talked about ‘Pearl Harbor’, NGC is ready with a series on ‘Africa’.
On new channel plans, Mr Shourie said: “If it’s strategically important to bring in another channel, we would do it.” At present, Discovery and Animal Planet are the two the group has.
NGC, meanwhile plans to launch another channel ‘Adventure One’ by July 2002. To that, Mr Shourie said that even Discovery could launch an adventure channel, if it wanted. But financial viability is a very crucial factor that one must take into account.