DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS UNVEILS NEW BRANDS, CONTENT AND TALENT TO ADVERTISERS AT 2008-09 UPFRONT PRESENTATION
-- TLC and Planet Green Debut New Programs and Hosts Not Announced Until Today --
SILVER SPRING, Md., April 23, 2008 � At its 2008-09 Upfront presentation at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Discovery Communications presented today its most ambitious programming slate to date, featuring a commitment to deliver 200 all-new original series and specials across its networks in the 2008-09 season.
"Last year we made a commitment to our audiences and advertisers to deliver strong brands, to invest in programming and in our emerging networks, and to build out our digital platforms. I'm proud to say we accomplished these goals," said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications. "Today, Discovery is more than just a cable company; we're a content company on multiple screens and the programs announced today will strengthen our leadership position in nonfiction entertainment."
Highlights from the New York presentation include the unveiling of two new TLC series: Singer/actor Jennifer Lopez, along with her husband, singer Marc Anthony, will be featured in a docu-series detailing the inner workings of their lives, including their many business ventures as well as behind the scenes of their personal life. Talk show host Kelly Ripa and actor husband Mark Consuelos are on board to develop several new, unscripted shows, one of which will star Ripa.
Planet Green, which will be available in 50 million homes on June 4, 2008, with more than 250 hours of all original, eco-lifestyle content, announced that ABC News' Bob Woodruff will anchor an eco-newscast for the network starting in July 2008. Lopez, Ripa and Woodruff appeared onstage, along with numerous other Discovery Communications' on-air talent, to tout their new programs.
In addition to new programming initiatives, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery (ID.), all of which feature new logos and on-air looks, boasted recent ratings performances. In 2007, Discovery Channel delivered more adults and men in total day than ever before and the channel ranks as the #5 ad-supported cable network among male key demos. Since unveiling its new look and feel in February 2008, Animal Planet has experienced double-digit growth in both total day and primetime, and the newly minted Investigation Discovery (ID.) is the #1 ad-supported cable network in total audience growth for all of 2007 and 2008 to date.
The company also unveiled a sneak-peak video in which Oprah Winfrey discussed plans for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, which debuts in the second half of 2009. In January 2008, Discovery Communications and Oprah Winfrey announced plans to create OWN, a new multi-platform media joint-venture designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives.
Demonstrating its commitment to building out its brand entitlement in digital media, Discovery showcased its recently acquired online knowledge site HowStuffWorks.com, along with Treehugger.com and Petfinder.com. The company also touted its refreshed suite of network websites, featuring new video players, search tools, games, social communities and clips offering consumers a deeper, more interactive and engaging experience.
"Discovery owns curiosity across all platforms, making it the ultimate 'knowledge buy' for our clients," said Joe Abruzzese, President, Advertising Sales, Discovery Communications. "The power of the Discovery brand stems from our ability to provide unparalleled content and create meaningful connections with consumers. We're investing in more quality storytelling and enlisting fresh new talent that will captivate audiences and tell our clients' stories everywhere our brands live."
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications is the world's number-one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks. Discovery Communications is owned by Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.