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DISCOVERY CHANNEL Discovering India

Presented by Amit Joshi

Background
1985: Original name was Cable Education Network Inc & John Hendricks was its founder. Launched in USA & in its first year channel's subscription reached to 7 million (by 1986). Offered non-fiction programs related to history, science, adventure, nature, civilization, etc. 1987: The Discovery Interactive Library, television's first interactive video was launched in Japan through an agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation. Change of name: from "Cable Education Network Inc" to "Discovery Communications, Inc" i.e. DCI. 1994: Launched in few Asian Countries.

1995: Expanded to Canada & India. Launch of online service, named "Discovery Channel Online". Acquired "Dallas-base Discovery Store Inc", & renamed as "Discovery Channel Store. Launched first ever consumer catalogue, named "Discovery Channel Catalogue". provided information about the merchandise offering. 1996: Launched in Brazil with Portuguese language. Launched in Europe with German language. Launched in Austria & Switzerland with regional languages. Subscription reached to 101.4 million around the globe. 1997: No.1. media brand, according to "Total Research Corporation" as per their EquiTrend Study. Launched in Turkey, through an agreement with The Media Group. Launched "BBC America" by entering a joint venture with "British Broadcasting Corporation" BBC.

Phase 1 : Entry Stage


Discovery Communications in Asian countries, named as "Discovery Channel (Asia) Operated by "Discovery Network Asia & has 5 channels.
Discovery Channel Southeast Asia Discovery Channel Philippines

Discovery Channel India

Discovery Channel Taiwan

Discovery Channel Malaysia

Major Competitors

Strategy
Discovery when entered India back in 1995, the Indian television market was dominated by entertainment and music channels. Hence they moved from programming strategy to time band programming. Discovery was the first channel to provide infotainment programs in India. It aired programs related to Nature, Wildlife and Science & Technology in English language.

Journey
Discovery started focusing from niche channel to mainstream channel competitor. They aired their programs related to science & technology, nature & wildlife in ENGLISH Language.

This attracted 3 million homes and major reasons behind this achievement was:
Viewers got a break to watch a different tangent of shows as compared to hindi family shows such as Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Thi, Hum Paach, Kusum, etc. Parents concern towards their children had a positive influence.

Lesson to Learn
In 1999 Discovery introduced a pay channel policy. Rs.5/- per house. This backfired them & no of discovery viewers went down from 13 million to 8 million. They learn that Indians are extremely price sensitive. But the loyalty of their viewers gave discovery a competitive advantage. Due to the consumers high demand of the channel, cable operators were forced to resume the channel & no of discovery viewers again increased to 12 million.

Phase 2 : Growth Stage


As an new business player to expand the business in the year 2000, Discovery made a joint venture with two tv channels. DD Channel & Vijay TV. They broadcast their shows in Hindi and Tamil languages for 2 hours. People who did not understand English, now also were aware about various topics. They noticed that the Indian viewers still had a perception of discovery as a channel which broadcasts programs on wildlife & nature.

In December 2000, when Mr. Deepak Shourie was appointed as the new MD of Discovery India a huge investment was made on R&D to conduct a survey on the perception of Indian viewers on Discovery Channel. Findings of the survey: Most viewers are urban males, age 25-54 yrs. Discovery is very popular with kids & their parents. Viewers are not aware about the show timings. Serious channel with infotainment programs.

Changing the Perception


Mass marketing to build brand image & reworking on brand positioning was initiated. 2001: In August announced new programming strategy named, "My Time on Discovery". 118 hrs/week. The main intension of this strategy was to communicate their viewers that they can watch the show as per their convenience individually. This helped Discovery to focus on their key target groups. In October launched time bands to mainstream their market.

2002: In October a programme guide of "discovery channel" circulated to readers which was attached inside the magazine "India Today.