Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav announced Thursday at the network’s upfront presentation plans for Discovery PlanetGreen, a multiplatform initiative that aims to reach consumers on varied levels.
The PlanetGreen project includes rebranding the existing Discovery Home Channel into the first 24-hour network dedicated to green lifestyle programming; it is expected to reach 50 million U.S. homes when it debuts in 2008. Discovery also is investing $50 million in original programming and creating an online environment with original video content and interactive forums.
The network will set up an advisory board to aid in global endeavors, host a PlanetGreen Innovation Conference, attempt to make its global headquarters a carbon-neutral building and work with partners such as the Nature Conservancy.
In addition to PlanetGreen, Discovery will announce more original programming for its HD channel, Discovery HD Theater, during the upfront presentation to advertisers.
Eileen O’Neill, a senior executive and former general manager of Discovery Health Channel, will lead the Discovery PlanetGreen initiative.
During Discovery’s upfront presentation Thursday, the cable network revealed a slate of programming that includes event series and specials as well as new and returning series.
“This upfront we are bigger and bolder than ever, with a programming slate that celebrates the kind of real-world entertainment that could only come from Discovery,” said Jane Root, president and general manager, Discovery Channel and The Science Channel.
Some highlights from the network’s 2007-08 schedule include:
In the first quarter of 2007, Discovery Channel earned year-over-year increases of 11% in household ratings and 23% among persons 2+, with an average audience of 1,341,000.