Discovery Communications is going to the dogs, via DogTV that is. The company has made an investment in 2-year-old channel bills itself as the first television network created just for canines. The companies also have formed a strategic partnership to help accelerate DogTV’s growth and allow for collaboration with Animal Planet. DogTV is a 24-hour network that effectively helps babysit stay-at-home pooches with programming specifically designed for their eyes and ears. Content is split into three categories — relaxation, stimulation and exposure — to help provide balance for their daily routines. Dr. Nicholas Dodman, program director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University, is DogTV’s chief scientist. Prior to the channel’s launch in 2012, he performed a study monitoring dogs’ behavior in their own homes, which captured viewing time and preferences, leading to the development of DogTV’s programming. Additional pet experts include Victoria Stilwell, of Animal Planet’s It’s Me Or The Dog, and veterinarian Dr Marty Becker, who frequently appears on Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show.
Discovery investment, the amount of which was not disclosed, comes at a time when DogTV’s growth is accelerating in the U.S. and internationally. The company recently opened its North American headquarters in Silicon Valley and expanded its programming to South Korea. There are also plans to launch in Japan and other markets later this year. As part of the partnership, Discovery Communications and DogTV will identify opportunities for both businesses to complement each other.
“More than 40 million American households own dogs, and they are spending more than $55.8 billion annually on their pets,” says DogTV Chairman Yossi Uzrad. “It’s a thriving industry.”
Adds Rick Holzman, EVP Programming & Strategy for Animal Planet: “The loving relationship between owners and their pets are extremely important to Animal Planet and our programming reflects and supports that unique relationship. We love dogs and celebrate our special bond with them. Whether providing information on where to adopt a loveable shelter dog, sharing our straight out puppy love-fests Too Cute! and the Puppy Bowl, or creating canine products, we are always interested in expanding our audiences – human and canine – and developing innovative programming. We look forward to working with DogTV for new mutually beneficial opportunities for man and man’s best friend.”