Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel International.svg
Launched June 17, 1985[1]
Owned by Discovery Communications, Inc.
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Slogan The world is just awesome.
Country Worldwide
Language English
Headquarters Silver Spring, Maryland
Sister channel(s) TLC
Animal Planet
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
Planet Green
Investigation Discovery
Discovery Fit & Health
Military Channel
Selective TV Inc.
(Alexandria, Minnesota)
K47KZ (Channel 47)
DirecTV Channel 278
Channel 1278 (VOD)
Dish Network Channel 182 (SD/HD)
Channel 9487
C-Band AMC 10-Channel 21
SKY México Channel 251
Dish Network Mexico Channel 402
CableVision (Argentina) Channel 52
Available on most cable systems Check your local listings
Verizon FiOS Channel 120 (SD)
Channel 620 (HD)
Sky Angel Channel 313
AT&T U-Verse Channel 120 (SD)
1120 (HD)

Discovery Channel (formerly The Discovery Channel) is an American satellite and cable specialty channel (also delivered via IPTV, terrestrial television and internet television in other parts of the world), founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav. It provides documentary television programming focused primarily on popular science, technology, and history. In the U.S., the programming for the main Discovery network is primarily focused on reality television themes, such as speculative investigation (with shows such as MythBusters, Unsolved History, and Best Evidence), automobiles, and occupations (Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch); it also features documentaries specifically aimed at families and younger audiences. A popular annual feature is Shark Week.[2]



On June 17, 1985, Discovery Channel was launched with $5 million in start-up capital from the BBC, the American investment firm Allen & Company, Venture America and several other investors. In the beginning it was available to 156,000 households and would broadcast for 12 hours between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. with about 75 percent of the content new to American viewers.[3] John Hendricks is credited with founding of the channel and its parent company, then known as Cable Educational Network Inc, in 1982.[4]

In its early years, the channel broadcast some Soviet programming, including the news program Vremya.[5] In 1988, the channel premiered the nightly program World Monitor, produced by the Christian Science Monitor. 1988 also saw the very first Shark Week, which has since returned annually. Within five years, the channel's reach had extended to over 50 million households.

On January 4, 2006, Discovery Communications announced that Ted Koppel, longtime Executive Producer Tom Bettag, and eight former Nightline staff members were joining the Discovery Channel.

The network's ratings improved in 2006[6] after a drop widely attributed to an over-reliance on a few hit series such as Monster Garage and American Chopper. Some critics said such series strayed from Discovery's mold of helping viewers learn about the world around them. Beginning in 2005, Discovery revamped its lineup to focus more closely on its traditional themes of popular science, history, and geography.[7] The network garnered a total of seven primetime Emmy award nominations in 2006 for shows including The Flight that Fought Back (about United Airlines Flight 93) and Deadliest Catch.

In 2007, Discovery Channel's top series include Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, the Emmy-award winning Planet Earth, MythBusters, and Deadliest Catch. Discovery's announced plans for 2008 include a new series with Josh Bernstein, who left History Channel to join Discovery. Other announced series include Fight Quest, Smash Lab, and the fourth season of Deadliest Catch.

Discovery Channel is currently the most widely distributed cable network in the United States,[8] reaching more than 92 million households, part of its global audience of 431 million homes in 170 countries and territories.[9] Versions of the channel are seen in Latin America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, India, Malaysia and other countries.[10]

On September 1, 2010, a man entered the building with a handgun and fired at least one shot, held hostages, and was later shot.[11][12] He has published criticisms of the network in an online manifesto at[12]


Popular programming on the channel today includes Shark Week, an annual week of programming dedicated to facts about sharks; Deadliest Catch, about fishing for crab in the Bering Sea; the popular science shows MythBusters,where the hosts use elements of the scientific method to test the validity of rumors or myths, and How It's Made, which features how everyday objects are manufactured; Dirty Jobs about dirty and/or dangerous blue collar occupations; a quiz show Cash Cab, FutureWeapons, about cutting edge weapons technology and Man vs Wild, showing how a man can survive in the wild. Christopher Lowell won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2000 for The Christopher Lowell Show, which aired on the Discovery Channel from 1998-2001.

Non-television ventures

Pro Cycling Team

Shortly before the 2004 Tour de France, Discovery Channel announced it would become the primary sponsor of a professional bicycling team starting in 2005, featuring seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. However, after the 2007 victory with the Spaniard Alberto Contador Discovery Channel announced its retirement from cycling sponsorship. This sponsorship ended after the 2007 cycling season.

Discovery Channel Radio

Discovery Channel Radio was a channel on the both major Canada satellite radio services. The programming consisted of audio versions of popular programs from its multitude of TV channels. Discovery was previously on XM Satellite Radio but was dropped in early September 2005. Sirius Satellite Radio dropped Discovery Radio from its slate on February 21, 2007.


Discovery Channel also lent its branding to retail stores in malls and other locations across America, as well as an online store. Educational gifts were the store's specialty. On May 17, 2007, Discovery Communications announced it was closing its stand-alone and mall-based stores. Hudson Group will continue to operate the Discovery Channel Airport Stores, and the website remains in operation.[13]


Discovery Channel is also funding the construction of the Discovery Channel Telescope, in partnership with Lowell Observatory.

Website features several exclusive browser-based games, with various science-based or sociological challenges.

Marketing and branding


Discovery Channel's previous taglines had been "Explore Your World" and "There's no thrill like discovery." However in view of its changing focus towards more reality-based programming and away from strictly educational programming, the slogan was changed to "Entertain Your Brain". The new tagline for the revamped Discovery Channel was "Let's All Discover...", with a continuing phrase or sentence that relates to a show. For example, when advertising for MythBusters, the commercial would end, "Let's All Discover, Why No Myth Is Safe". With the 2008 logo change came a new tagline: "The World is Just...Awesome." The newest commercials includes an unreleased mix of the song "Wonders Never Cease" by Morcheeba, from the album entitled The Antidote and the song Typical by MUTEMATH. Their most recent commercial I Love the World, created by the 72andSunny agency, contains amended verses and the refrain from the traditional campfire song "I Love The Mountains".


The logo of Discovery Channel from 1985-1995.
The next logo of Discovery Channel from 1995-2000.
The third logo of Discovery Channel. Used from 2000-2009.

The Discovery Channel's very first logo was a television screen picturing a map of the World. For two decades on the air, the logo incorporated the Discovery wordmark in an Aurora Bold Condensed font with a circle shape in front of it. The circle usually took the form of a rising sun, or an animated version of the Vitruvian Man.

In 1995, the word "The" was dropped from the channel's name. A globe became a permanent part of the logo, and a strap was added to the bottom of the logo. During this time, the company started expanding and launched several new networks. Many of the sister networks used designs similar to the one used by Discovery, often incorporation the globe and using the same typeface. Networks that had logos based on Discovery's were Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Science, Discovery Wings and Discovery Home & Leisure. The logo was changed slightly in 2000 when the word "Channel" was moved into the strap, and the globe was altered to focus on the Pacific Ocean.

On April 15, 2008, before the season premiere of Deadliest Catch, Discovery Channel started using a new logo, new graphics and the new tagline "The World is Just Awesome". The new logo has been designed by Viewpoint Creative in Boston and replaced Aurora Bold Condensed with Gotham.[14] The globe has been merged with the "D" in "Discovery".[15] This D-globe part can be detached and used separately, for example it is used as the channel's bug. Later in 2009, design agency Royale slightly modified the logo, detaching the globe from the D, and made the word CHANNEL slightly bigger. The modified logo was rolled out to the rest of the world during the first half of 2009.


Discovery Channel reaches 431 million homes in 170 countries. Currently, Discovery Communications offers 29 network brands in 33 languages. In a number of countries, Discovery's channels are available on digital satellite platforms with multiple language soundtracks or subtitles including Spanish, German, Russian, Czech, Hindi, Tamil, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Turkish, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Arabic, Slovene, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Serbian. In Bulgaria, Discovery has since 2000–2001 been displayed with Bulgarian subtitles by all cable providers and since 2010 - with Bulgarian doubling for some of the shows.


Discovery Channel Canada has an ownership structure different from Discovery Channel. Canadian viewers receive almost identical English-language programming to the channel that American viewers watch, but with some added Canadian content to suit the audience. Most notably, the Canadian channel carries the daily science news show Daily Planet, originally, the first of its kind. Occasionally, several segments on similar topics are taken from various episodes and put together into one-hour specials that are broadcast on the original Discovery Channel. Canadian channels Discovery World HD, Discovery Health, Discovery Science, Investigation Discovery and Animal Planet are also seen.


In the United Kingdom, Discovery Channel UK has some programs in common with the US version, including MythBusters, American Chopper, How It's Made and Deadliest Catch. The channel is carried as a basic subscription channel on digital satellite (SKY) and digital cable (Virgin Media. Discovery UK also operates many additional channels: Discovery HD, Discovery Knowledge, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Science, Animal Planet, DMAX, Discovery Real Time, Discovery Home & Health, Discovery Travel & Leisure and Discovery Shed. Many of these channels also have timeshifted versions.

In the Republic of Ireland the UK edition is available on most cable/digital operators but with local advertisements on Discovery Channel.

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland Discovery Channel is part of the Premiere-digital-network and supplies specific programs to other networks like ZDF and kabel eins. Discovery Communications is also owner of the documentary-channel XXP. The channel was bought in spring 2006 from its former shareholders Spiegel TV and "dctp". All programs are dubbed into German. The channel is now known as "DMAX", presumably to associate the channel with Discovery.

In the Netherlands, the Discovery Channel is included in most cable subscriptions, as well as in the IPTV and DVB-T subscribtions. Nearly all of the programs are broadcast in their original language, but they are subtitled in Dutch as is the policy of all Dutch television stations. Some programs as well as most promos and program announcements have a Dutch voice-over. In Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, a Flemish Discovery Channel launched (previously the Dutch version was available for IPTV, DVB-C and DVB-S) on Cable (and digital) Television on October 1, 2009.

In Italy, the Discovery Channel (and HD) is distributed via satellite by Sky Italia, the most Italian pay TV. It is incluse on the documentary pack. In addition, Italy has four Discovery-branded channels: Discovery Science, Discovery Real Time, Discovery Animal Planet and Discovery Travel and Living

In Poland, the Discovery Channel is included in most cable television offers. It is also available on satellite digital platforms (sometimes requiring an additional fee). Cyfra Plus makes it possible to see the programs in Polish as well as in English. Also on digital platform "n" there is an additional channel Discovery Historia produced in cooperation with one of the biggest Polish broadcaster - TVN.

In Slovenia, the Discovery Channel is one of the most popular channels, with a very wide audience, especially after subtitling in Slovene was introduced. It is quite common for a bar in Slovenia to set their TV to Discovery Channel. Thus it is included in all (except some basic) Cable / IPTV subscriptions.

In Serbia, the Discovery Channel is distributed via cable television providers with Serbian subtitles. It enjoys moderate popularity, with shows like MythBusters and American Chopper being especially well received.

In Spain, the channel shares a schedule and programs with Portugal and is available through most satellite and cable platforms, making it possible to broadcast both in Spanish and Portuguese. In Spain all programs are dubbed whereas in Portugal most of them are subtitled. In addition, Portugal has three Discovery-branded channels: Discovery Turbo (motorsports), Discovery Science (science and technology) and Discovery Civilization (ancient history, crimes, terrorist attacks, etc.). They follow the same model as the original Discovery Channel, except for advertising (which doesn't exist on this channels). Spanish adverts are broadcast to the Portuguese feed, non-subtitled or dubbed.

Australia and New Zealand

In Australia, the Discovery Channel is part of a six channel bouquet (not including timeshifts) on digital subscription television, available on Foxtel, Optus TV and AUSTAR.

In New Zealand, the Australian version of Discovery is broadcast on SKY Network Television.

South-East Asia

In India, China, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the rest of South East Asia, the S.E. Asian version of the Discovery Channel is available on digital subscription television. Discovery Channel Asia still shows crime programs e.g. Most Evil, The FBI Files, etc.. There also is a large number of programming featuring development and society in Asian countries, especially in India and China. For example, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore has a number of other channels branched from the main Discovery Channel: Discovery Turbo, Discovery Science, Discovery Home & Health and Discovery Travel & Living.

The Philippines on the other hand, has its own version of the said channel. The Philippine feed shares the program schedule as the SE Asian feed, except for the inclusion of the Philippine advertisements during commercial breaks.

South Africa

In South Africa, Discovery Channel shares a schedule and programming with all of Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. Discovery Channel as well as sibling channels Discovery World and Animal Planet are available on the DStv/Multichoice platform.



In August 2008 it was reported by The Consumerist that Discovery Channel had stopped their popular MythBusters program from airing an episode examining RFID security in regard to its implementation in credit cards because the episode would upset credit card companies, who are major advertisers on Discovery Channel.[16] It was later determined that the decision not to investigate the issue was made by Beyond Productions, the MythBusters production company, and was not made by Discovery Channel or their advertising department.[17]

Enigmatic Malaysia

An ad promoting the network's Enigmatic Malaysia, a special series meant to highlight the cultural heritages of Malaysia, mistakenly featured Balinese Pendet dancers. This prompted outrage from Balinese dancers, who posted messages demanding that Malaysia apologize over the misinformation, which then sparked a series of street protests.[18] Further demands were made from the local governments, cultural historians as well as the tourism ministry in Indonesia for Malaysia to clarify the situation.[19] The Malaysian government reportedly offered their apologies, which was rejected by the Indonesian tourism minister, since the apology was given informally by phone, the Indonesian tourism minister demanded a written apology to make it more accountable.[20]

List of series

  • Shark Week
  • Solving History with Olly Steeds
  • Sons of Guns
  • Storm Chasers
  • Survivorman
  • Swamp Loggers
  • Swords
  • The Colony
  • Time Warp
  • Treasure Quest
  • Ultimate Car Buildoff
  • Verminators
  • Weird or What?
  • Worst Case Scenario
  • Wreckreation Nation

See also


  1. ^ "The 59th Academy Awards (1987) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-07-23. 
  2. ^ MediaPost Publications - Discovery Rebrands, Upgrades Marketing Efforts - 07/24/2007
  3. ^ Schneider, Steve (June 16, 1985). "CABLE TV NOTES; A CHANNEL WITH A DIFFERENCE". New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ Zad, Martie (June 19, 1988). "The Discovery Channel; Science, Nature, Adventure and Animals That Bite". The Washington Post. 
  5. ^ "Television: The Russians Are Coming". Time. February 23, 1987.,9171,963577,00.html. 
  6. ^ DCI :: Press and News Releases
  7. ^ Dirty Work – 8/14/2006 – Multichannel News
  8. ^ Top 20 Cable Program Networks –
  9. ^ DCI :: Businesses & Brands :: Discovery Channel
  10. ^ DCI :: Press and News Releases
  11. ^ "Armed Man With Bomb Takes at Least One Hostage in Discovery Channel Building". Fox. September 1, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Suspect in Maryland hostage situation published angry online manifesto". CNN. September 1, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Discovery shuttering 103 locations". CNN. May 17, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Viewpoint Creative Designs New Discovery Channel Logo". Viewpoint Creative. 
  15. ^ "Discovery Times New Branding Campaign To ‘Deadliest Catch’ Debut". Multichannel News. March 31, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Mythbusters Gagged: Credit Card Companies Kill Episode Exposing RFID Security Flaws". Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  17. ^ "Mythbusters Host Retracts RFID Censorship Comments". Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  18. ^ Niken Prathivi and Irawaty Wardany (2009-09-03). "Protests over presence of Pendet dance in Malaysia’s tourism ad continue". Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  19. ^ I Wayan Juniartha (2009-08-28). "Pendet, the dance that rocks the cradle". Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  20. ^ Dessy Sagita (2009-08-27). "Indonesian Minister Rejects Malaysian Pendet Apology". The Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 

External links



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  • Discovery Channel (UK TV channel) — Discovery Channel Launched 1 April 1989 Owned by Discovery Networks Western Europe Picture format 16:9, 576i (SDTV) …   Wikipedia

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