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Discovery

Discovery on Wednesday launched its new global entertainment streaming service discovery+ for $4.99 monthly. It will also include a $6.99 monthly ad-free tier in the U.S.

Why it matters: Discovery joins a very crowded field of entertainment streaming services vying for consumers' budgets.

Details: In the presentation, CEO David Zaslav made it clear that what he hopes will set its service apart is its global reach, its focus on unscripted content, and its talent-driven marketing plan.

  • "The power of our personalities is one of our biggest strategic personalities," Zaslav said in a presentation, referencing talent like former "Fixer Upper" co-hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines.
  • He noted that the service will have exclusive content from the popular duo. The pair joined Zaslav on the virtual presentation to talk about their new shows.

At launch, the streaming service will have over 50 original series and more than 55,000 episodes in total. It's the first time it's making its entire library of content across all of its nearly 20 TV channels available to consumers.

  • Zaslav says they have a strong head start on other services, due to decades of production experience and distribution relationships made globally via its traditional TV networks.
  • "We have always believed that great IP [intellectual property] that we own globally in every language, great brands, great talent, and a wealth of entertainment and sports content around the world sets us apart," he said.
  • To that end, Zaslav said that discovery+ will be the streaming home of the Olympics in Europe next year.
  • He also noted that the company has already brokered distribution agreements with telecom providers abroad, like Italy's Telefonica and Sky in the U.K.

Discovery's reliance on unscripted shows stems from the fact that its TV channels mostly focus on topics that are ripe for reality and documentary programming. Its networks focus on topics like:

  • Home and lifestyle (HGTV)
  • Food (Food Network)
  • True crime (TLC)
  • Relationships (Lifestyle and Own)
  • Science (Planet Earth)

The service will also include digital content from GroupNine Media, a digital media company that owns brands like The Dodo, which focuses on animals, and NowThis, which focuses on news.

The bottom line: Discovery is different from some of the other entertainment companies launching streaming services because, like Netflix, it's a standalone entertainment company — its sole mission is to create content.

  • Many of its rivals, like Disney, Comcast and Apple, use content to sell other things, like theme park tickets, broadband and phones.
  • It's also launching with an existing global footprint. Other companies, like Comcast, have had to make some pricey acquisitions in order to obtain a global reach for its subscription services.
  • Zaslav says discovery+ will roll out to 25 countries next year.

Go deeper: Inside Discovery's global streaming push

Go deeper

Dec 22, 2020 - Economy & Business

The real competitor to Trump TV

Photo: Blazemedia.com

The conservative media company that owns BlazeTV has quietly been building a massive subscriber base, a direct threat to any digital TV effort being floated by President Trump and his allies, sources tell Axios.

By the numbers: Blaze Media — which was created as a result of the 2018 merger between The Blaze, a pay-TV network founded by Glenn Beck, and CRTV, an online subscription network that owns Conservative Review — now has 450,000 paid subscribers to BlazeTV, paying on average $102 a year.

47 mins ago - Sports

Robot umpires inch closer to calling MLB games

The Automated Ball-Strike system (ABS), the tech powering what's colloquially known as robo-umps, is inching ever closer to the big leagues.

Driving the news: The independent Atlantic League — which has partnered with MLB since 2019 — last week announced it was doing away with robo-umps after testing them for the past season-and-a-half.

FBI conducts "court-authorized" search of Rep. Henry Cuellar's home

Rep. Henry Cuellar. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The FBI said it conducted a "court-authorized" search on Wednesday in the area of the Texas home of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

State of play: "The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity," an FBI spokesperson told Axios, adding that they "cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation."

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