Discovery Channel: Wikis


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Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel International.svg
Launched June 17, 1985
Owned by Discovery Communications, Inc.
Picture format 576p (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Slogan The world is just awesome.
Country Worldwide
Language English
Headquarters Silver Spring, MD
Sister channel(s) Discovery Networks
DirecTV Channel 278
Channel 1278 (VOD)
Dish Network Channel 182
C-Band AMC 10-Channel 21
Starchoice Channel 505
Sky Mexico Channel 251
Dish Network Mexico Channel 402
Available on most cable systems Check local listings
Sky Angel Channel 313
AT&T U-Verse Channel 120 (SD)
1120 (HD)

Discovery Channel (formerly The Discovery Channel) is an American satellite and cable TV channel (also delivered via IPTV, terrestrial television and internet television in other parts of the world), founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It provides documentary programming focused primarily on popular science, technology, and history, similar to that of the National Geographic Channel and History. In the U.S., the programming for the main Discovery network is primarily focused on reality-based television themes, such as speculative investigation (with shows such as MythBusters, Unsolved History, and Best Evidence), automobiles, and occupations (Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch); it also features documentaries specifically aimed at families and younger audiences. A popular annual feature is Shark Week.[1]



On June 17, 1985, Discovery Channel was launched with $5 million in start-up capital from the BBC, the American investment firm Allen and Company, Venture America and several other investors. In the beginning it was available to 156,000 households and would broadcast for 12 hours between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. with about 75 percent of the content new to American viewers.[2] John Hendricks is credited with founding of the channel and its parent company, then known as Cable Educational Network Inc, in 1982.[3]

In its early years, the channel broadcasted some Soviet programming, including the news program Vremya.[4] In 1988, the channel premiered the nightly program World Monitor, produced by the Christian Science Monitor. 1988 also saw the very first Shark Week, which has since returned annually. Within five years, the channel's reach had extended to over 50 million households.

On January 4, 2006, Discovery Communications announced that Ted Koppel, longtime Executive Producer Tom Bettag, and eight former Nightline staff members were joining the Discovery Channel.

The network's ratings improved in 2006[5] after a drop widely attributed to an over-reliance on a few hit series such as Monster Garage and American Chopper. Some critics said such series strayed from Discovery's mold of helping viewers learn about the world around them. Beginning in 2005, Discovery revamped its lineup to focus more closely on its traditional themes of popular science, history, and geography[6]. The network garnered a total of seven primetime Emmy award nominations in 2006 for shows including The Flight that Fought Back (about United Airlines Flight 93) and Deadliest Catch.

In 2007, Discovery Channel's top series include Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, the Emmy-award winning Planet Earth, MythBusters, and Deadliest Catch. Discovery's announced plans for 2008 include a new series with Josh Bernstein, who left History Channel to join Discovery. Other announced series include Fight Quest, Smash Lab, and the fourth season of Deadliest Catch.

Discovery Channel is currently the most widely distributed cable network in the United States,[7] reaching more than 92 million households, part of its global audience of 431 million homes in 170 countries and territories.[8] Versions of the channel are seen in Latin America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, India, Malaysia and other countries.[9]

Discovery Channel has the distinction of being one of only three Discovery Networks channels to air infomericals during the overnight hours (TLC and fitTV being the only others), Discovery airs infomercials seven days a week from 3-9 a.m./ET. Animal Planet and the entire slate of Discovery Digital Networks (Investigation Discovery, Discovery Kids, Military Channel, Science Channel, Planet Green and Discovery Health Channel) with the exception of fitTV, do not air infomercials, instead those channels operate a 24-hour entertainment schedule.


Popular programming on the channel today includes Shark Week, an annual week of programming dedicated to facts about sharks; Deadliest Catch, about fishing for crab in the Bering Sea; the popular science shows MythBusters and How It's Made; Dirty Jobs about blue collar occupations; a quiz show Cash Cab, FutureWeapons, about cutting edge weapons technology and Man vs Wild, showing how a man can survive in the wild. Christopher Lowell won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2000 for The Christopher Lowell Show, which aired on the Discovery Channel from 1998-2001.

Non-television ventures


Pro Cycling Team

Shortly before the 2004 Tour de France, Discovery Channel announced it would become the primary sponsor of a professional bicycling team starting in 2005, featuring seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. However, after the 2007 victory with the Spaniard Alberto Contador Discovery Channel announced its retirement from cycling sponsorship. This sponsorship ended after the 2007 cycling season.

Discovery Channel Radio

Discovery Channel Radio was a channel on the both major Canada satellite radio services. The programming consisted of audio versions of popular programs from its multitude of TV channels. Discovery was previously on XM Satellite Radio but was dropped in early September 2005. Sirius Satellite Radio dropped Discovery Radio from its slate on February 21, 2007.


Discovery Channel also lent its branding to retail stores in malls and other locations across America, as well as an online store. Educational gifts were the store's specialty. On May 17, 2007, Discovery Communications announced it was closing its stand-alone and mall-based stores. Hudson Group will continue to operate the Discovery Channel Airport Stores, and the website remains in operation.[10]


Discovery Channel is also funding the construction of the Discovery Channel Telescope, in partnership with Lowell Observatory.

Website [1] features several exclusive browser-based games, with various science-based or sociological challenges.

Marketing and branding


Discovery Channel's previous taglines had been "Explore Your World" and "There's no thrill like discovery." However in view of its changing focus towards more reality-based programming and away from strictly educational programming, the slogan was changed to "Entertain Your Brain". The new tagline for the revamped Discovery Channel was "Let's All Discover...", with a continuing phrase or sentence that relates to a show. For example, when advertising for MythBusters, the commercial would end, "Let's All Discover, Why No Myth Is Safe". With the 2008 logo change came a new tagline: "The World is Just...Awesome." The newest commercials includes an unreleased mix of the song "Wonders Never Cease" by Morcheeba, from the album entitled The Antidote and the song Typical by MUTEMATH. Their most recent commercial I Love the World, created by the 72andSunny agency, contains amended verses and the refrain from the traditional campfire song "I Love The Mountains".


The Discovery Channel's very first logo was a television screen with a world map on it.

Original Discovery Channel logo, used from 1985-1995.

For two decades on the air, the logo incorporated the Discovery wordmark in a font called Aurora Bold Condensed with a circle shape in front of it. The circle usually took the form of a rising sun, or an animated version of the Vitruvian Man.

In the mid-90s, the word "The" was dropped from the channel's name. A globe became a permanent part of the logo and a strap was added to the bottom of the logo. During this time, the company started expanding and launched several new networks. Many of the sister networks used designs similar to the one used by Discovery, often incorporation the globe and using the same typeface. Networks that had logos based on Discovery's were Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Science, Discovery Wings and Discovery Home & Leisure. The logo was changed slightly in 2000 when the word "Channel" was moved into the strap.

On April 15, 2008, before the season premiere of Deadliest Catch, Discovery Channel started using a new logo, new graphics and the new tagline "The World is Just Awesome". The new logo has been designed by Viewpoint Creative in Boston and replaced Aurora Bold Condensed with Gotham.[11] The globe has been merged with the "D" in "Discovery".[12] This D-globe part can be detached and used separately, for example it is used as the channel's bug. The new logo was rolled out to the rest of the world during the first half of 2009.


Discovery Channel reaches 431 million homes in 170 countries. Currently, Discovery Communications offers 29 network brands in 33 languages. In a number of countries, Discovery's channels are available on digital satellite platforms with multiple language soundtracks or subtitles including Spanish, German, Russian, Czech, Hindi, Tamil, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Turkish, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Arabic, Slovene, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Serbian. In Bulgaria, Discovery has since 2000–2001 been displayed with Bulgarian subtitles by all cable providers.


Discovery Channel Canada has an ownership structure different from Discovery Channel. Canadian viewers receive almost identical English-language programming to the channel that American viewers watch, but with some added Canadian content to suit the audience. Most notably, the Canadian channel carries the daily science news show Daily Planet, originally, the first of its kind. Occasionally, several segments on similar topics are taken from various episodes and put together into one-hour specials that are broadcast on the original Discovery Channel. Canadian channels Discovery HD, Discovery Health, Discovery Kids, Discovery Civilization, and Animal Planet are also seen. All channels are under different ownership, with Discovery Communications having a 20% share in each.


In the United Kingdom, Discovery Channel UK has some programs in common with the US version, including MythBusters, American Chopper, How It's Made and Deadliest Catch. The channel is carried as a basic subscription channel on digital satellite (SKY) and digital cable. Discovery UK also operates many additional channels: Discovery HD, Discovery Knowledge, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Science, Animal Planet, DMAX, Discovery Real Time, Discovery Home & Health, Discovery Travel & Leisure and Discovery Shed. Many of these channels also have timeshifted versions.

In the Republic of Ireland the UK edition is available on most cable/digital operators but with local advertisements on Discovery Channel.

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland Discovery Channel is part of the PREMIERE-digital-network and supplies specific programs to other networks like ZDF and Kabel 1. Discovery Communications is also owner of the documentary-channel XXP. The channel was bought in spring 2006 from its former shareholders Spiegel TV and "dctp". All programs are dubbed into German. The channel is now known as "DMAX", presumably to associate the channel with Discovery.

In the Netherlands, the Discovery Channel is included in most cable subscriptions, as well as in the IPTV and DVB-T subscribtions. Nearly all of the programs are broadcast in their original language, but they are subtitled in Dutch as is the policy of all Dutch television stations. Some programs as well as most promos and program announcements have a Dutch voice-over. In Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium, Discovery Channel will be available on Cable Television from 1 October 2009.

In Poland, the Discovery Channel is included in most cable television offers. It is also available on satellite digital platforms (sometimes requiring an additional fee). Cyfra Plus makes it possible to see the programs in Polish as well as in English. Also on digital platform "n" there is an additional channel Discovery Historia produced in cooperation with one of the biggest Polish broadcaster - TVN.

In Slovenia, the Discovery Channel was one of the most popular channels, with a very wide audience, especially after subtitling in Slovene was introduced. However, the popularity - and rating - of the channel dropped sharply after 2005, when it dropped most of its history and popular science documentaries[citation needed], shifting to series about motoring and mechanics, the appeal of which seems to be very limited.[citation needed]

In Serbia, the Discovery Channel is distributed via cable television providers with Serbian subtitles. It enjoys moderate popularity, with shows like MythBusters and American Chopper being especially well received.

In Spain, the channel shares a schedule and programs with Portugal and is available through most satellite and cable platforms, making it possible to broadcast both in Spanish and Portuguese. In Spain all programs are dubbed whereas in Portugal most of them are subtitled. In addition, Portugal has three Discovery-branded channels: Discovery Turbo (motorsports), Discovery Science (science and technology) and Discovery Civilization (ancient history, crimes, terrorist attacks, etc.). They follow the same model as the original Discovery Channel, except for advertising (which doesn't exist on this channels). Spanish adverts are broadcasted to the Portuguese feed, non-subtitled or dubbed.

Australia and New Zealand

In Australia, the Discovery Channel is part of a six channel bouquet (not including timeshifts) on digital subscription television, available on Foxtel, Optus TV and AUSTAR.

In New Zealand, the Australian version of Discovery is broadcast on SKY Network Television.

South-East Asia

In India, China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the rest of South East Asia, the S.E. Asian version of the Discovery Channel is available on digital subscription television. Discovery Channel Asia still shows crime programs e.g. Most Evil, The FBI Files, etc. There also is a large number of programming featuring development and society in Asian countries, especially in India and China. For example, Malaysia and Singapore has a number of other channels branched from the main Discovery Channel: Discovery Turbo, Discovery Science, Discovery Home & Health and Discovery Travel & Living.

The Philippines on the other hand, has their own version of the said channel, it will separate from S.E Asian feed. But recently the Philippine feed share the program schedule both from the S.E Asian feed, except for the inclusion of the Philippine Advertisement during commercial breaks.

South Africa

In South Africa, the Discovery Channel is the same as the Discovery Channel in Europe.



In August 2008 it was reported[13] that the Discovery Channel had stopped their popular MythBusters program from airing an episode examining RFID security in regard to its implementation in credit cards because the episode would upset the credit card companies, who are major advertisers on the Discovery Channel. It was later determined that the decision not to investigate the issue was made by Beyond Productions, the MythBusters' production company, and was not made by Discovery or their advertising department.[14]

Enigmatic Malaysia

An ad promoting the network's Enigmatic Malaysia, a special series meant to highlight the cultural heritages of Malaysia featured Balinese Pendet dancers. This prompted an outrage from the dancers in Bali, who posted messages demanding that Malaysia apologize over the misinformation, which then sparked a series of street protests.[15] Further demands were made from the local governments, cultural historians as well as the tourism ministry in Indonesia for Malaysia to clarify the situation.[16] The Malaysian government reportedly offered their apologies, which was rejected by the Indonesian tourism minister, since the apology was given informally by phone, the Indonesian tourism minister demanded a written apology to make it more accountable.[17]

However, the Malaysian government denies claims that it was responsible for the ad,[18] and later disclosed that Discovery TV had sent an apology letter to the two countries, clarifying that the network was responsible for the ad.[19] Discovery Channel apologised for the error made by a Singapore-based company. South-East Asia senior vice president and general manager Kevin Dickie reiterated that the incorrect use of the Pendet clip was in no way a malicious attempt to undermine Indonesian culture. “It was a human error by an independent producer that Discovery Network takes responsibility for.” Despite the clarifications, Dickie said there still appeared to be some misunderstandings. “We hope the current situation will ultimately lead to a broader debate and understanding of the richness of both Malaysian and Indonesian cultures,” he said.[20]

In Indonesia, some dissatisfied ultra-nationalists used the momentum to stir problems, protesting and lauding anti-Malaysia sentiment on the streets. More than a hundred armed men carrying sharpened bamboo sticks, calling themselves "Bentlee Democratic Raker" (BENDER), set up road-block to identify Malaysians along Jalan Diponegoro in Jakarta. A dozen policemen arrived to contain the unrest.[21]. The demonstrations ensued outside the Malaysian Embassy. Rotten eggs were hurled at a house rented by Malaysian students of Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta.

Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono firmly condemned those groups as unlawful. He urged the Indonesia-Malaysia Eminent Persons Group (EPG) to play its role in mediating disputes including pertaining to copyright and cultural property between the two countries. "This is my hope in the spirit of safeguarding and taking care of our good relations," he said.[22] In response, Malaysia Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he had conveyed to Indonesian ambassador Park Try Substring (Tan Si Try Sultriness) his worry of Malaysian citizens' safety in Indonesia. "The Indonesian government is taking action to ensure no harm comes to Malaysians there," Najib said.[23]

All Malaysian borders, which were manned by the military, had been tightened and enforcement agencies have been told to gear up for any possibility of members of the group penetrating Malaysian shores. This is in response to Indonesia’s Benton Democracy Rakel (Benders) threat to wage war by sending 1,500 troops — armed with sharpened bamboo — to Malaysia by air, land and sea 8/10/2009. The group is the same one which had set up roadblocks in Menteng, Central Jakarta last month, in search of Malaysians.[24]

List of shows

See also


  1. ^ MediaPost Publications - Discovery Rebrands, Upgrades Marketing Efforts - 07/24/2007
  2. ^ "CABLE TV NOTES; A CHANNEL WITH A DIFFERENCE". New York Times. June 16, 1985. 
  3. ^ "The Discovery Channel; Science, Nature, Adventure and Animals That Bite". The Washington Post. June 19, 1988. 
  4. ^ "Television: The Russians Are Coming". Time. February 23, 1987.,9171,963577,00.html. 
  5. ^ DCI :: Press and News Releases
  6. ^ Dirty Work - 8/14/2006 - Multichannel News
  7. ^ Top 20 Cable Program Networks -
  8. ^ DCI :: Businesses & Brands :: Discovery Channel
  9. ^ DCI :: Press and News Releases
  10. ^ Discovery to close 103 stand-alone, mall locations - May. 17, 2007
  11. ^ "Viewpoint Creative Designs New Discovery Channel Logo". Viewpoint Creative. 
  12. ^ "Discovery Times New Branding Campaign To ‘Deadliest Catch’ Debut". Multichannel News. March 31, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Mythbusters Gagged: Credit Card Companies Kill Episode Exposing RFID Security Flaws". Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  14. ^ "Mythbusters Host Retracts RFID Censorship Comments". Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  15. ^ Niken Prathivi and Irawaty Wardany (2009-09-03). "Protests over presence of Pendet dance in Malaysia’s tourism ad continue". Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  16. ^ I Wayan Juniartha (2009-08-28). "Pendet, the dance that rocks the cradle". Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  17. ^ Dessy Sagita (2009-08-27). "Indonesian Minister Rejects Malaysian Pendet Apology". The Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  18. ^ Darshini Kandasamy (2009-08-25). "‘Pendet’ not a Tourism Malaysia ad". Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  19. ^ "Tourism Ministry Malaysia Received Apologise Letter From Discovery TV Network". Bernama. 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  20. ^ Discovery to produce programme on Pendet The Star, 12 Sep 2009
  21. ^ Armed Indonesian Nationalists Block Road In Hunt for Malaysians
  22. ^ Susilo Wants EPG To Also Tackle Cultural Issues Berna ma, 25 Aug 2009
  23. ^ Indonesian Government Will Ensure Safety Of Malaysians - PM Bernarr, 9 Sep 2009
  24. ^ New Straits Times - Security on alert for 'invasion'
  25. ^

External links



Simple English

The Discovery Channel is a television channel about science, history, and nature. It has programs such as Man vs. Wild, A Haunting, The Last Day of the Dinosaurs, MythBusters, and Dirty Jobs.


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