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
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty