Discovery Channel to produce 50-60 hours of original content in 2018-Television Post


Discovery Communications India’s flagship channel Discovery Channel is planning to produce 50-60 hours of original content in 2018. The channel has kick-started the original programming line-up with a four-part special series ‘Breaking Point: The Indian Submariners’, which went on-air on 19 March. Besides launching localised original shows, the broadcaster will also bring interesting global formats to India. “We have a lot of very interesting global content which we are going to look at which would be frontrunners. We will have a mix of global content and Indian franchises that we will be launching this year. We are looking at 50-60 hours of original content in 2018,” Discovery Communications India VP premium & digital networks Zulfia Waris told TelevisionPost.com. Discovery Channel will concentrate on short-format shows to tell interesting stories. The channel identifies 15-40 age groups as its core target audience. “We have divided our core audience between old and young millennials,” Waris noted. The network has a TV + digital strategy to cater to different communities. The content creation is done in a way that the content can seamlessly travel to different platforms. However, the storytelling will be different on different platforms. “We have a linear + digital strategy. On linear, a show will play out as a half an hour show and on digital it will be showcased as standalone pieces,” Waris stated. She also said that the content is dictated by the platform. “We have different ways of telling a story on YouTube and Facebook. We are customising the content according to the platform,” Waris added. Discovery has identified four core-interest areas ‘Military’, ‘Girlist’, ‘Automotive’ and ‘Food’. Veer By Discovery catering to the audience wanting military content has been launched. Next to follow is Rise by TLC. “This is just the start of us getting into passionate communities on digital. We will be looking at different forms of passionate communities,” Waris stated. Discovery Channel has five languages feeds namely English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali. The presence of so many feeds has helped the channel to cater to different regional markets. “We have tried to cover as many key priority markets as possible. It definitely solidifies the position in a specific regional market. Content is becoming hyper-local it makes sense to start focussing on that,” she pointed out. Talking about Discovery Channel’s first local production of 2018, Waris said that there was a lot of curiosity about the Indian Navy and hence it made sense to delve deeper into the subject. In any case, Discovery is deeply interested in creating content around armed forces. “There is a lot of curiosity about submariners in general with very little known about them. They are generally very quiet not only underwater but also with the general public,” she said. According to Waris, the suggestion to create a show like this came from the Navy as they were excited about the fact that they just completed 50 years. The show, Waris said, will throw up interesting nuggets of information that are not known to the general public. Anchored by Harman Singha, the show will allow audiences to experience the journey of an Indian Submariner. “Usually, we would have had the first person narrative from the Jawan himself. This time we felt that the fact we wanted a civilian point of view. What are the questions of a civilian once they enter the submarine? We have Harman doing that. He comes from a merchant navy background,” Waris stated. She further noted that the channel has gone the practical way to make the show more relatable rather than taking a theoretical route. She also said that the show will also provide a glimpse into many places which have not been filmed before.

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