Continuing with its trend to launch on national dates, Discovery Networks added two new channels to the Discovery bouquet on January 26, 2010 -- Discovery Turbo and Discovery Science. With this, the number of channels in the Discovery Network goes up to five. An official communiqué stated that for starters, Discovery would launch these two channels only on the direct-to-home platform with TataSky.
In a conversation with exchange4media, Rahul Johri, Senior Vice President and General Manager - India, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, elaborated, “OneAlliance is working on the distribution of these channels, even as we speak. It is already there on analog, for instance in Delhi, we know it is there in Gurgaon, but we expect to be distributed well in the next two to three months. We began with TataSky, as that gives us a significant number to begin with, but eventually we would be on the other DTH platforms as well, given that aspects like capacity and so on are taken care of.”
Johri informed that at present the marketing efforts would be focussed on the distribution trade, and once the channels were settled, the full-fledged marketing would commence. The expected time frame for that is the next few months.
All Discovery channels – Discovery Channel, Discovery Travel & Living and Animal Planet – have Indian content at present. Discovery Turbo and Discovery Science are beginning with complete international content. Johri explained, “It is, in fact, in the same manner as we had gone for Discovery Travel & Living – we started off with only international content, but as the channel matured, more Indian content was added. You will see the same for these channels as well.”
For Johri, given the fact that Indian audiences are young and aspirational, Discovery Science made sense for the country. He said, “Knowledge is in, geeks are in and Discovery Science has fantastic content that ‘satisfies curiosity’. And when we saw the success of Travel & Living, we knew that there is market for a male lifestyle channel, and so Discovery Turbo is another apt mix to our overall offering here.”
In a prepared statement Tom Keaveny, EVP and MD, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, stated: “India is globally recognised as one of the world’s most exciting television markets and is a priority market for Discovery. The launch of Discovery Science and Discovery Turbo reflects our enduring commitment to provide Indian viewers, affiliates and advertisers with a variety of credible, entertaining and high-quality networks.”