Shephali Bhatt
Mar 15, 2012

Q&A: Mark Hollinger, president and CEO, Discovery Networks International

Campaign India caught up with Discovery's Mark Hollinger to find out about their new channel launch and more

Q&A: Mark Hollinger, president and CEO, Discovery Networks International


Could you tell us in detail about Discovery Kids' launch in India?
We are planning to launch the channel in early spring of 2012. The channel would have more of its focus on education related content to provide children a fun and entertaining way to satisfy their natural curiosity with stimulating and imaginative programming. We have plans of taking the channel to other markets in Asia as well but we decided to start with India because India is one of our top four growth markets. It has a great appetite for information and entertainment. It has the fantastic environment that one would want to be in, in the pay television business. 


How do you expect the revenue scenario to change once the digitisation of cable network takes off?
We would certainly expect a healthy increase in ad revenue.  The question for a lot of programmers would be from a distribution point of view. It would be essential to understand how will digitisation change the entertainment market, and how will it impact the carriage fees.


How do you think monetising on HD content will work out once the HD penetration increases, in India and the rest of the World?
We already have the biggest HD portfolio around the world. With an increase in HD penetration in each of our markets, we will certainly look at having more HD networks in the concerned markets. We are quite optimistic about monetising on HD offering.


How do you plan to enmesh digital across all mediums, properties and TV listings?
We will do it in a number of ways.We already have a strong web presence. We would ensure the availability of our full networks on all digital platforms, be it your computers or your tablet devices. Then there could be show by show VOD (video on demand) offerings. These are things we do in conjunction with our current distribution partners. We will also do that with the over-the-top providers.


Discovery has a lot of interesting properties globally, like Curiosity, Discovery Fit & Health, Military Channel, et al. Any plans on getting any of those properties in India anytime soon?
Sometime soon. We are constantly looking at which of our US networks we can roll out. We launched TLC, and now Discovery Kids (with more of education focus). Currently there's no plan of launching other channel brands. We have 13 channel brands in the U.S., these are the ones we try to take out internationally. But we also have brands that are market specific, international brands that don’t exist in the US. So we would continue to expand the portfolio here in india. 

Campaign India

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