Discovery Networks announced the launch of Hindi entertainment channel Investigation Discovery (ID), besides HD channels TLC HD World and Animal Planet HD World at Goafest in May 2014. ID, with global content on true stories of crime and investigation dubbed into Hindi, started airing on 1 August.
The launch took the Network’s presence to 11 channels in India. At a roundtable with journalists in Delhi on 29 August, Rahul Johri, EVP and GM - South Asia, and head of revenue, pan-regional ad sales and Southeast Asia, Discovery Networks Apac, outlined the focus on content. The network claims to be investing $ 1.5 billion globally in programming annually.
Discussing the strategy for India, he said, “We have tripled our networks in India in last five years. Today, we operate in six unique genres through a robust portfolio os 11 networks reaching a cumulative 240 million homes in five languages (English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bangla). We will continue to strengthen our leadership and make investments in content and availability across all our networks and deliver an unmatched experience to millions of viewers across urban and rural India.”
The broadcaster is upbeat about the prospects of its latest launch ID. On the possibility of introducing India-based shows on the channel, Johri said, “We are essentially a non-fiction network, and will be sticking to our strength. With a Hindi-dubbed channel, we are creating a well-defined proposition to the largest base. When we launch channels, we try to use the available content. As we go along, we hopefully will introduce Indian content on the channel.”
The advertising, marketing and promotions of the new channel will begin once the seeding of the channel is complete by September-end, according to Johri.
Speaking with Campaign India, Johri asserted that the network had no plans of launching more channels this year. The focus is clearly on introducing new content across channels.
Claiming to be the only network with a 3D-broadcast license, Discovery is waiting for the audience base to hit a critical mass before introducing a 3D channel in the country.