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Discovery Channel (formerly The Discovery Channel) is an Americanmarker 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.

History

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. John Hendricks is credited with founding of the channel and its parent company, then known as Cable Educational Network Inc, in 1982.

In its early years, the channel broadcasted some Soviet programming, including the news program Vremya. 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 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. 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 93marker) 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, reaching more than 92 million households, part of its global audience of 431 million homes in 170 countries and territories. Versions of the channel are seen in Latin America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, India, Malaysia and other countries.

Programming

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

The Discovery Channel Radio logo


Discovery Channel Radio was a channel on the both major Canadamarker 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.

Store

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.

Telescope

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

Website

Discovery.com features several exclusive browser-based games, with various science-based or sociological challenges.

Marketing and branding

Taglines

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 Mute Math. 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".

Logos

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

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 font. 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 uses a thinner font. The globe has been merged with the "D" in "Discovery". 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.

International

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 Bulgariamarker, Discovery has since 2000–2001 been displayed with Bulgarian subtitles by all cable providers.

Canada

Discovery Channel Canada has an ownership structure different from Discovery Channel. Canadianmarker viewers receive almost identical English-language programming to the channel that Americanmarker 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 @discovery.ca, 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.

Europe

In the United Kingdommarker, 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, Discovery Wild (formerly 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 Irelandmarker the UK edition is available on most cable/digital operators but with local advertisements on Discovery Channel.

In Germanymarker, Austriamarker and Switzerlandmarker Discovery Channel is part of the PREMIERE-digital-network and supplies specific programs to other networks like ZDFmarker 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 Netherlandsmarker, 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 Polandmarker, 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 Sloveniamarker, 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 , shifting to series about motoring and mechanics, the appeal of which seems to be very limited.

In Serbiamarker, 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 Spainmarker, the channel shares a schedule and programs with Portugalmarker 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 Zealandmarker, the Australian version of Discovery is broadcast on SKY Network Television.

South East Asia

In Indiamarker, Chinamarker, Japanmarker, South Koreamarker, Indonesiamarker, Malaysiamarker, Singaporemarker, Thailandmarker, Vietnammarker 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 Indiamarker and Chinamarker. For example, Malaysia has a number of other channels branched from the main Discovery Channel; Discovery Turbo, Discovery Science, etc.

The Philippinesmarker 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.

Controversy

RFID

In August 2008 it was reported 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.

Enigmatic Malaysia

An ad promoting the network's Enigmatic Malaysia, a special series meant to highlight the cultural heritages of Malaysiamarker featured Balinesemarker 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. Further demands were made from the local governments, cultural historians as well as the tourism ministry in Indonesia for Malaysia to clarify the situation. 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.

However, the Malaysian government denies claims that it was responsible for the ad, and later disclosed that Discovery TV had sent an apology letter to the two countries, clarifying that the network was responsible for the ad. 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.

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.. 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. 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.

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 res ponce to Indonesia’s Benton Democracy Rakel (Benders) threat to wage war by sending 1,500 troops — armed with sharpenedbamboo — 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.

List of shows



See also



References

External links

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