Discovery Channel is one of the most popular television channels across the world. Operating in many countries the channel is considered one of the leading infotainment channels. The channel is known for its programs related to science, technology, history, and the environment. Initially the channel focused more on documentaries. In recent years, it has forayed into reality shows. It has a number of sister channels like Animal Planet, TLC, and the Food Network.
Discovery Channel was launched in 1982 through its parent company Cable Educational Network. The channel commenced its operations with its first broadcast on 17th of June, 1985. The channel started off with a complete focus on educational programming. It was well-known for its documentaries on wildlife, history, science, and culture. Within the space of 5 years, the channel was able to reach out to more than 50 million subscribers.
The channel started to offer varied content from the 2000s. Programs on cars, detective investigation, and other such varies content started to be offered. The channel also began to telecast reality shows. After a brief drop in ratings, the ratings picked up after the channel continued to refocus on history and science shows.
Initially known as ‘The Discovery Channel’, it was renamed to ‘Discovery Channel’ in 1995. At present the channel is telecast in more than 220 countries across the world. It has 1.5 million subscribers and reaches 430 million homes worldwide. It has a total of 13 channels and 28 entertainment brands.
Ownership of the channel
The channel was started by an American businessman John Hendricks who founded and chaired Discovery Inc. After serving as Chairman for 32 years, he retired in 2014. Discovery Inc. owns the channel, which is slated to be merged with Warner Media. The merger process in ongoing and once complete, the entity will be renamed as Warner Bros. Discovery.
Type of content telecast
While the channel used to telecast educational contents like history shows, programs on wildlife, travel, science, etc earlier, the focus now has changed. Since there are many sister channels, each channel focuses on specific content. Animal Planet telecasts wildlife shows while Science Channel telecasts science shows, and TLC telecasts travel shows.
The mother channel now telecasts more of reality shows. These shows are on exploration and survival. There are also investigative programs and shows on occupations. ‘
Some of the popular shows telecast on Discovery Channel at present include:
- Shark Week: This is an annual feature and is one of the most popular shows that is being aired since 1988.
- Rob Riggle: Global Investigator: This is a show where comedian Rob Riggle explores various mysteries from history.
- Naked and Afraid: This controversial show features men and women left in the wild to survive without any clothes.
- Gold Rush: This reality show telecasts the quest for gold by miners.
- Serengeti: The show is one of the most popular wildlife shows featuring animals in Serengeti in Tanzania.