Discovery’s six point agenda for 2015

MUMBAI: The network has tripled itself in India in the last five years, and today operates in six unique genres through its robust portfolio of 11 networks reaching a cumulative 260 million homes in five languages.

We are talking about Discovery Networks, which extended its brand experience by launching Discovery Channel Magazine. It has expanded the business fuelled by marquee initiatives – new channels, unmatched India productions and marketing innovations.

And going forward, the network is going to focus on six points - maintain leadership across genres, maximise viewership, build on the strength of Discovery Kids; establish ID as a ‘must watch’ channel; deliver on ‘male-centric’ brand promise of Turbo; continue to produce path-breaking India content, continue to innovate; and deliver value to advertisers and relentlessly explore new opportunities for growth.

The year 2015 brings with it a heap of opportunities, but the path was laid in 2014 itself. The network revamped its channel, Turbo, to skew more towards men. The repositioning came in as a response to research conducted over the past couple of years.  “The viewers’ feedback and our constant research suggested a vacuum in English entertainment genre for men. Indian television has primarily been dominated by female led programming. The refreshed Turbo channel is an upscale men's television network that provides high-octane programming for its viewers.  Turbo broadens its content with more genre mix to offer variety to its male audience.  It also enhances its value proposition for its viewers, advertisers and affiliates,” says Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific south Asia and southeast Asia executive VP and GM Rahul Johri.

One of the key reasons to rebrand was to widen the channel’s appeal. Its core strength will be variety.  “Turbo will be the only specialised content channel in the English genre, reflecting the promised benefits of digitisation.  The Indian television landscape is ever changing and we have stayed ahead of the curve by recognising the evolving trends and addressing them by creating new television genres and distinct audience segments,” he adds.

With each brand having its own identity and evolution process, the network is continuously evaluating all its channels, and when need arises, it shall plan if others too need to be revamped or not.

Not only this, a surprise move for many in the industry, the network was able to get its recently-launched channel ID-Investigation in Tata Sky’s Hindi channel base pack. The move was to cater to Hindi speaking masses.  “The channel’s specialised content dedicated to crime and investigation has wider appeal.  In three months of its launch, ID has gained tremendous popularity, and has become an ideal ‘channel of choice’ for the base pack,” explains Johri when asked the reason behind the move.

Others like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Science have wider demographic appeal and thus, are the preferred channels for viewers in the factual entertainment genre.  These channels too are in the base packs of DTH platforms.

Nonetheless, with TheOneAlliance, the distribution JV between Multi Screen Media (MSM) and Discovery Network, being dissolved with effect from 1 January 2015, after 12 long years, the network is pulling all strings to make the coming year a remarkable one.

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