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Discovery Communications 

“Market Cap $19.62 B As of May 2014

At a Glance

  • Industry: Broadcasting & Cable
  • Founded: 1985
  • Country: United States
  • CEO: David Zaslav
  • Website: www.corporate.discovery.com
  • Employees: 5,700
  • Sales: $5.54 B
  • Headquarters: Silver Spring, Maryland

Forbes Lists

#793 Global 2000

  • #1556 in Sales
  • #593 in Profit
  • #1322 in Assets
  • #564 in Market value
Profile

Discovery Communications, Inc. is a global media company that provides content across multiple distribution platforms, including digital distribution arrangements, throughout the world. The company operates its business through three segments: U.S. Networks, International Networks and Education. The U.S. Networks segment wholly owns and operates nine national television networks, including fully distributed television networks such as Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Science. Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet. The International Networks segment consisting primarily of international television networks and websites. The Education segment consist curriculum-based product and service offerings. Discovery Communications was founded by John S. Hendricks on September 17, 2008 and is headquartered in Silver Spring, MD.

Discovery Communications History

On March 17, 2009, Discovery revealed that it owned the rights to several patents related to e-books, in announcing a patent infringement lawsuit against Amazon.com, maker of the Kindle e-book reading device. The patents were originally developed by the company’s founder John Hendricks; the specific patent in question in the suit was applied for in 1999 but issued in late 2007.

On April 30, 2009, it was announced that Discovery would be forming a joint-venture with Hasbro to re-launch Discovery Kids as a new children’s channel known as The Hub.

On November 2, 2009, Discovery joined Jeff Arnold (founder of WebMD), Dr. Mehmet Oz, Harpo Productions, Sony Pictures Television and HSW International as co-founder ofSharecare, Inc., a Q&A platform for users to ask health- and wellness-related questions and receive answers from recognized experts.

Discovery launched a 3DTV channel in conjunction with Sony and IMAX in early 2011, called 3net.

On December 21, 2012, Discovery announced it had took a 20% minority interest share with TF1 Group in sports broadcaster Eurosport, valued at €170 million (US$221.6 million). On January 21, 2014, Discovery became the majority shareholder in Eurosport, taking a 51% share of the company.

2010 hostage crisis

On September 1, 2010, the DCI headquarters was the site of a hostage taking, a lone gunman identified as James J. Lee, armed with two starter pistols and an explosive device, took three people hostage inside of the Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, prompting an evacuation of the building.

The incident began at 1:00 p.m. ET, when 43-year-old James Jay Lee entered the building with two starter pistols and fired a single round at the ceiling of the lobby. TheMontgomery County Police Department confirmed that Lee had an explosive device and was holding three people hostage in the lobby. The building was placed on lockdown and most of the 1,500 employees were evacuated. Children from a day care center inside were safely removed to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant on Colesville Rd. The police began to communicate with Lee soon after the incident began. The Montgomery County police chief, J. Thomas Manger, said that the police were “trying to get him to release the hostages and surrender peacefully”. Lee was shot dead by police at 4:48 p.m. ET after the hostages made a run for freedom. The remaining hostages were immediately freed.

Lee’s motive was believed to have been grounded in environmental activism. James J. Lee had previously been arrested in 2008 while protesting in front of the same site.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland has since labeled the crime a terrorist attack.

James Jay Lee (c. 1967 – September 1, 2010) was born to a Korean-American father and a Japanese mother, in Los Angeles, California and raised in Hawaii. He was an environmental protester who, in 2008, was given six months of supervised probation and fined $500 after he was arrested during a protest outside the Discovery Communications headquarters. In 2003, he was convicted of smuggling an illegal immigrant into the country from Mexico and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Lee had published criticisms of the network in an online manifesto at Savetheplanetprotest.com, among which was a demand for the company to cease the broadcasting of television series displaying or encouraging the birth of “parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions”. His manifesto also railed against “immigration pollution and anchor baby filth”, leading commentators such as Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center to decry Lee as an “eco-fascist”. Lee’s opinions were dominated by Malthusian analysis, though he also cited works ranging from Daniel Quinn’s novel My Ishmael to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient TruthThe Washington Post credited the Twitter community for initially breaking the story.

Corporate identity branding campaign

On October 1, 2013, the 13 Discovery-owned or co-owned networks in the U.S. began airing 10-second wraparounds after many of their show promos. The network logos are arranged in a circle around the phrase “Your Family of Networks.” Through animation, the logos then spin and dissolve, revealing the parent company’s logo at the end.

Lost in Poland

In Poland during switch to digital terrestrial TV, and after analog switch off there was 1 place on MUX 1, which was targeted for Free-to-air popular science and technology program. Discovery Communications and their proposition of DMAX, was treated as favorite, however their lost to new project called “Fokus TV”(literally Focus television). Fokus TV also won over other propositions like TV Nowa, TVS, 4fun Media, Media Works, Edusat and TVR. However – in fact Edusat was only example of this group focused more on science and technology, despite being mainly program which is something like “open University” project. The decision of choosing Fokus TV over Discovery was commented that national body in Poland wanted more “hard science”, and “technical” than “docutainment”, and program to be more Poland targeted.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “mipmarkets