Deepak Shourie, the new Managing Director at Discovery,
has unveiled his initiative for the channel. His prescription for growth in
viewership is rooted in programming. It has little to do with the change in
content. The thrust is towards matching the content with day-part. This
will, in-turn, help address the relevant audiences in that day-part.
Addressing his maiden press conference in Delhi as the
head of Discovery Channel in India, Shourie outlined his new approach by
naming the audiences and the programming genres targeted at them. It is
driven by the “extensive consumer research and the conclusive consumer
feedback” which suggests that “Discovery is a great channel – I love to
watch it, but I don’t know what to watch when.”
The concept of ‘My Time’ on Discovery seeks to address
the consumers’ need by recognising the viewing convenience of each family
member, individually and collectively. This is expected to make Discovery a
“must watch” for viewers and also offer advertisers a “focussed platform”
for their target groups.
Discovery Channel, being part of the ‘unique content’
channel universe, has always had to live with a certain lack of numbers that
mass entertainment channels enjoy. However, very few channels can boast of
as high a share-of-mind in proportion to their actual audience-share. It is
a testimony to the enormous equity that the brand has among TV viewers the
At 21 million homes, India has over 10% of the
‘Discovery homes’ across the world. With Tamil and Telugu dubbing next year,
it is likely to grow even bigger. The Hindi dubs have proved that in the
last three years. Viewers not only help bring advertising revenue but also
valuable subscription revenue.
Discovery charges Rs. 5.50 per home in India. Of its
total revenue from India, subscriptions contribute 60%. But hang on. Don’t
pull out your calculators yet. There is an entity called cable-operator.
They do not admit to 21 million homes. They do not admit to even half as
many. So how much is Discovery making after all? At Discovery, mum is the