Discovery Data

Network Launch Subs @ launchCurrent subsDiscovery US17-Jun-85156,00071.4 millionDiscovery EuropeApr-89(cable exclusive)Sep-93(Astra exclusive)100,000*14.2 millionDiscovery Israel **1990 (agreement)140,0001 millionTLC October, 1991***15,54959.3 million US5.2 mil. CanadaDiscovery AsiaJan-94648,1557 millionDiscovery Latin America / IberiaFeb-94586,1945.4 millionDiscovery Middle EastMay-949,0001,040,000****Discovery CanadaJan-951.1 million4.5 millionDiscovery...
September 1, 1997

Network Launch Subs @ launchCurrent subs
Discovery US17-Jun-85156,00071.4 million
Discovery EuropeApr-89
(cable exclusive)
(Astra exclusive)
100,000*14.2 million
Discovery Israel **1990 (agreement)140,0001 million
TLC October, 1991***15,54959.3 million US
5.2 mil. Canada
Discovery AsiaJan-94648,1557 million
Discovery Latin America / IberiaFeb-94586,1945.4 million
Discovery Middle EastMay-949,0001,040,000****
Discovery CanadaJan-951.1 million4.5 million
Discovery S. Korea**Mar-95140,0001.6 million
Discovery IndiaAug-951 million5 million
Discovery Australia / New ZealandSep-9590,000*****498,475
Discovery ItalyJan-9660060,986
Discovery AfricaJan-969,500109,904
Discovery BrazilApr-96910,6531.8 million
Animal PlanetJun-9699,00020 million
Discovery GermanyJul-96029,652
Discovery JapanJan-9714,82917,782
Four digital networksStill in testing

*Subscriber numbers available are for year-end 1989
**This is a program supply agreement, where branded Discovery Channel blocks air but not a full 24-hour network
***Acquired and re-launched by DCI in 1991
****Subscriber number also includes Israel viewers
*****Subscriber number represents New Zealand only as that network launched before Australia

then …

On average, at launch, Discovery Channel programming consisted of: 60% acquisitions, 40% Discovery Global Library, and 0% coproduction.
(Note: Each regional service varies.)

… vs NOW

Currently, on average, Discovery Channel’s programming consists of: 50% acquisitions, 30% Discovery Global Library, and 20% coproduction.
(Note: Each regional service varies.)

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.