Discovery has decided to pull the plug on Discovery People across the U.S. The decision to cease operations at some point this year came down after negotiations with some key MSOs, says Patricia Kollappallil, senior manager of communications for Discovery Networks.
Purchased from CBS in late December 1998, the former Eye on People was primarily intended to fill a niche at the digital level. Currently, five to six million households receive the channel, mostly via DBS and digital, although a few analog tiers carry it as well. Each MSO will decide what will replace People, though Discovery is pushing its health channel for analog placement. DirecTV made the swap this past December, for example. ‘Discovery’s priorities are with Health and the other [established] analog services,’ Kollappallil acknowledges.
People will be phased out gradually across the MSOs, so its absence won’t be immediately apparent. ‘By the time Discovery People goes dark, there won’t be any more Discovery People subscribers. We won’t be turning off the channel until no one carries the channel anymore,’ Kollappallil says.