Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav has complained that cable and satellite companies dragged their feet with the rollout of TV Everywhere streaming services. But his company apparently hopes to make up for lost time beginning Wednesday with the launch of its own branded service for pay TV customers: Discovery Go.
Owners of Apple and Android devices can download an app that will enable them to watch shows on Discovery’s networks live and on-demand. Discovery Go will add other platforms later. It’s primarily for those who subscribe to cable or satellite, though some content will be available to non-subscribers.
This is “an important first step in providing viewers with access to our award-winning content anytime, anywhere on practically any device,” Chief Commercial Officer Paul Guyardo says. He calls Discovery Go an “important promotional platform to complement and support our TV brands.”
Users will be able to search for specific shows or browse programming by network, 14 genres including Survival and History, as well as what the company calls “specially curated playlists.” Viewers also can design watch lists.
Chief Development, Distribution & Legal Officer Bruce Campbell says that the service is “essential to our relationships with viewers and distributors” in the U.S.
The launch coincides with the premiere of Racing Extinction, Discovery Channel’s documentary about endangered species that debuts Wednesday in more than 220 global markets.
Last month Zaslav told analysts that “we haven’t done a great job” in generating revenues from digital services. “It’s about break-even with all the effort that we’ve made. That’s the bad news. The good news is that more and more we’re talking to advertisers that like the scale that we have. We’re changing our approach in how we’re selling to take advantage. … Over the next two years to three years, if we could really build up our capability and our expertise in digital, I think that’ll be a significant upside.”