Discovery to examine the relationship between science and film

MUMBAI: In a bid to add diversity to its programming repertoire Discovery will showcase a series that examines the effect the cult classic Star Wars had on scientists.

The Science of Star Wars will premiere on the channel in April.


Speaking to this evening Discovery brand director marketing Raja Balasubramaniam says, ?It looks at how the Star Wars movies sparked off the imagination of a lot of scientists.

A lot of what they show in the films as science fiction is true today. Then there is Return to Flight. This looks at the workings of Nasa. It looks at how the space organisation regrouped after the disaster."

Discovery will also be kicking off a localised show in April called Yatra. This will take viewers to exotic locales around the country. Then there is a show called Days That Shook The World. This will showcase days where importance events like Lady Diana?s death and Martin Luther King?s assassination. Each episode will focus on two days, which have a unique link with each other. Discovery, ?



In addition for lovers of natural history the channel will air The Year Without Summer, This talks about an volcanic eruption that took place in the 1800s. The effect was s severe the sun was blocked out by particles. The show will look at how there was snow in some areas where the phenomenon does not exist.

However Balasubraniam adds that the channel is not looking to create new genres of programming. The channel already has blocks like history, wildlife, science and technology and mystery.

?This is what we specialise in. When you look at current history or ancient civilisation the treatment and the way we look at it will get changed. However we will not move away from our current template which is satisfactory.?

On the marketing front Balasubramniam says, ?For Virtual history most of our promotion has been on air. We will be doing some print activity over the next couple of days and some radio spots. We are not doing a blitz. For Animal Planet we were able to create buzz last year with roadshows. This year the plans are at an evolving stage. Having said doing lots of marketing

and spending loads of money is often not the best way

to go about business.?

Potential for mobile limited: A few days ago had reported that Discovery had decided to jump onboard the mobile platform. It teamed up with Volantis. Volantis which supplies intelligent content adaptation solutions and services will develop, deploy, and host Discovery's all-new

global mobile portal.

The rollout begins in Asia later this year. Discovery?s global mobile service will be available through the branded portals of mobile network operators, as well as ?direct to device? for subscribers who have Internet access via their mobile phone.

When asked what the plans for India were Balasubramaniam was doubtful whether Discovery would look at the mobile as a serious revenue source. ?There are no immediate plans. The mobile works for SMS messages and contests. For content however my phone is so small that I do not know what you can see. I am more optimistic about broadband being a useful

delivery platform.

"With mobile my experience in India is that one might check something out if you are travelling and are bored.? As far as DTH is concerned Balasubramaniam said that the broadcaster has an open mind to joining a platform. When it was pointed that DD wanted channels to join for free he reiterated that a deal would be entered into if it was satisfactory. He also

maintains that there are no plans to bring in any more channels this year.

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