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Karan Bajaj, senior vice-president (V-P) and general manager—South Asia, Discovery Communications India. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Karan Bajaj, senior vice-president (V-P) and general manager—South Asia, Discovery Communications India. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Discovery ties up with Netflix to stream Discovery JEET content

Discovery Communications has partnered video streaming platform Netflix for Discovery JEET, its general entertainment TV channel that goes live on 12 February

New Delhi: American broadcaster Discovery Communications on Tuesday partnered video streaming platform Netflix for Discovery JEET, its general entertainment TV channel that goes live on 12 February.

After Discovery JEET content is broadcast on the channel, it will be available to watch on Netflix in more than 190 countries.

“Netflix is going to be an exclusive platform for the content of Discovery JEET. We tied up with Netflix because the platform has a global footprint and its values of disruptive content are similar to Discovery’s. In its first year, Discovery JEET will be doing 1,000 hours of original programming," said Karan Bajaj, senior vice-president (V-P) and general manager—South Asia, Discovery Communications India.

Discovery JEET, which will launch with five hours of daily original programming, will compete with channels such as Star Plus from Star India Pvt. Ltd, Sony Pictures Network-owned Sony Entertainment television, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd-run Zee TV and Viacom18 Media’s Colors, to cash in on the Rs10,000 crore general entertainment advertising market.

At present, Discovery Communications operates 12 factual entertainment channels in India, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery HD World, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, Discovery Kids and sports channel DSPORT.

Discovery JEET, which will launch with a distribution in more than 100 million households, will be available in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Its key programmes will include a 65-episode scripted drama on yoga guru Baba Ramdev titled Ramdev-The Untold Story, a drama of 21 Sikhs who had battled 10,000 Afghans called 21 Sarfarosh: Saragarhi 1897 and a fiction show Mere Papa Hero Hiralal.

“Discovery JEET’s differentiation comes from our lineup of dramatic, compelling stories of real, relatable characters presented in a cinematic, larger than life format.

Discovery JEET signifies the verve of today’s generation which is optimistic and aspirational in seeking a better future for itself and its family," said Sameer Rao, vice-president and head of mass entertainment, South Asia at Discovery Communications India, in a statement.

Media experts feel that Discovery’s move makes sense as youngsters are spending more time on smartphones than television.

“We are going through a phase when content is more important than the screen. It’s (Discovery’s) a good strategy as consumers will have the option of watching the content on television as well as on other devices through Netflix. Youngsters are spending more time on smartphones and tablets.

As far as the general entertainment TV market is concerned, I believe consolidation is on the horizon as the market only has space for three-four players," said Ashish Bhasin, chairman and chief executive, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia.

Discovery’s partnership with Netflix comes almost a month after the broadcaster announced the launch of four niche digital channels (in partnership with video streaming platforms YouTube, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Play). “We see Discovery as a strong leader in the digital infotainment space. We want to develop very passionate niche communities with the four channels that we had launched in December," said Bajaj.

According to Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2017-21 released by consulting firm PwC, growth for digital advertising in India is projected to be the fastest among media platforms at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.6%. Digital advertising is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2021, up from the estimated $740 million in 2016. Meanwhile, television advertising is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.1% between 2017 and 2022.

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