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Discovery to showcase Indian content across the world, to further strengthen local programming

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MUMBAI: The flagship Discovery Network is all set to optimise the content programming and channels under its stable, even as the network foresees a growth in India’s GDP in the year 2016 and plans to broaden its portfolio in the nation.

The network is re-focusing on expanding its scale in India by coming up with better programming line-up, catering to the regional market and by going local using the local talent available in India.

Discovery Communications, which launched in India back in 1995 with only one channel, has now grown into a conglomerate with as many as 11 channels in five languages. The leader in the factual entertainment genre, Discovery roughly has 550 advertisers on board with approximately 275 million cumulative households across India.

The company’s portfolio in South Asia comprises Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Tamil, Discovery Kids, Investigation Discovery, and three high-definition channels namely Discovery HD World, Animal Planet HD World and TLC HD World.

“No other market in the entire world has shown a growth like India. We want to become a multi-genre platform and want to grow as a media company. With the fresh content line-up, we are broadening our portfolio from what it looks like and are targeting the local audience”, said Discovery Networks International president J B Perrette.

The network believes that the strong brands under them are extremely powerful and are doing economically well for them.

Discovery Networks is also considering launch of its over-the-top (OTT) platform in India soon once the bandwidth stabilizes and once 4G gets in place in the country. The network is dependent on the response from the market rather than following one particular model.

The network already has two direct-to-customer OTT products offering in Europe - Dplay and Eurosport - which are doing exceptionally well for them. “The consumption of video content is rapidly increasing in Norway. The country has proved to be a beneficiary market for us”, added Perrette.

Known for providing high quality content to its viewers across the nation, Discovery is embarking on a very ambitious content production programme with $2 billion global investment. “We are seeing enormous traffic in India. This year, we have invested $2½ billion on our content programming globally to provide good quality shows on our flagship channels”, added Perrette.

As it is not a platform only for documentaries, the network will bring new non-fiction genres like sports, kids, non-organic fiction, etc to India. For the first time, the network will broadcast shows produced in India to the rest of the world.

“Over the years we have increased our local productions in India, and will continue to invest in content to better serve our viewers and clients. Some of the local programmes also find resonance around the world, just like the global content which is viewed in India," Perrette said.

Targeting the younger generation at large, the network plans to providing content across all its platforms in an easy, simple, accessible way providing various options of entertainment.

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