Careers at Discovery Communications

Mission

Discovery Communications produces and distributes original television content to consumers across the world, including across the US, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Business segments

Discovery Communications’s operations are divided into two reportable business segments:

  • US Networks, comprising the Company’s operation of domestic television networks and websites; and
  • International Networks, comprising the Company’s operation of international television networks and websites.

History

Discovery Communications was founded in 1985 by John Hendricks. The Company began its operations with the launch of its flagships Discovery Channel, which debuted to a US audience of 156,000. The Company launched the Discovery Channel in the UK and Scandinavia in 1989, and in 1991 began broadening its offerings by acquiring The Learning Channel.

Discovery Communications continued to grow, developing its portfolio of content networks, adding Animal Planet and Discovery Espanol in the early 1990s. This growth has continued apace, with the Company now operating more than 35 network channels across the world, including Eurosport, Discovery Kids, DMAX, Velocity, Shed, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery, and Discovery Life. The Company has 3 billion cumulative worldwide viewers and 375 million monthly streaming customers.

In 2008 Discovery Communications listed shares on the NASDAQ, opening at a price of $18.53 per share. Today, the Company has a share price of $25.51 and a market capitalisation of $10.10 billion.

Benefits at Discovery Communications

Business model of Discovery Communications

Customer Segments

Discovery Communications serves a range of customers, principally distributing content for consumption by the general consumer market. The Company directly serves a range of content distributors and network providers, to which it sells the rights to broadcast its network content. These customers include:

  • Cable service operators, such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable;
  • DTH satellite service providers, such as DirecTV;
  • Telecommunications companies, such as Verizon and AT&T; and
  • On-demand and streaming platforms, such as Netflix and Hulu.

Discovery Communications also serves advertising agencies, brand marketers and commercial entities to which it provides advertising solutions.

Discovery Communications distributes customised content to customers in the US, and across more than 220 other countries and territories in over 40 languages. The US remains the Company’s largest market.

Value Propositions

Discovery Communications provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Its production of high-quality original content, with the Company developing its own programming and intellectual properties;
  • The breadth of its content, with the Company providing a range of content to suit different audiences, including kids programming, nature documentaries, sports broadcasts, entertainment shows, and history documentaries;
  • Its international reach, with the Company providing content to customers across more than 220 countries in various languages, including across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe; and
  • Its large audience for advertisers and brand marketers, with the Company attracting more than 3 billion cumulative viewers worldwide to which advertisers are able to promote their products.

Channels

Discovery Communications operates a corporate website at www.corporate.discovery.com, through which its provides information on its networks, programming and distribution network. The Company also operates an online streaming service named Discovery Go, which can be accessed via the Company’s consumer website at www.discovery.com.

Discovery Communications operates more than 35 television network channels, including its flagship Discovery Channel, as well as TLC, Animal Planet, Eurosport, Discovery Kids, DMAX, Velocity, and Discovery Life. These channels are available to consumers through a range of domestic and international service providers.

Discovery Channels also operates its own in-house sales teams that deal with the Company’s commercial customers, including distributors and advertisers. The Company has a network of offices across the US, as well as 68 locations outside of the US, including in the UK, France, Denmark, Italy, Singapore and Poland.

Customer Relationships

Discovery Communications provides programming to consumers on a self-service basis through its online streaming services, which enables customers to register their account and view content without interacting with members of the Discovery Communications sales teams. Customers can also purchase merchandise on a self-service basis through the Company’s online store.

Commercial customers must consult directly with the Company’s in-house sales teams, agreeing multi-year distribution and advertising deals. The Company has long-standing relationships with a range of leading content distributors. The Discovery Communications consumer website provides a range of information for customer on programming schedules and company developments.

Customers can contact the Company over the phone and online, and can interact directly with Company through its social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Key Activities

Discovery Communications is a global media company. It provides programming content across multiple distribution platforms, including pay-television, free-to-air and broadcast television, websites, on-demand and streaming services, and content licensing agreements.

It operates through two business segments covering the Company’s domestic US operations and its international operations. Discovery Communications distributes content across more than 220 countries worldwide, including its home market of the US, as well as across Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America. The Company's television brands, include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science and Velocity.

Key Partners

Discovery Communications collaborates with various companies as part of its operational activities. This includes:

  • Licensing and Distribution Partners, including distributors and service providers that assist in distributing the Company’s content across multiple jurisdictions worldwide;
  • Production Partners, that assist the Company in producing content; and
  • Strategic and Alliance Partners, with which the Company collaborates on joint projects and shares resources.

Discovery Communications has a partnership with LG Electronics to showcase the company’s line of OLED television sets, a tie-up with VolunteerMatch to drive awareness for volunteer projects, and an agreement with TubeMogul to automate private inventory management on Discovery GO.

Key Resources

Discovery Communications’s key resources are its intellectual properties, its production assets, its proprietary networks and distribution channels, its partnerships, and its personnel.

The Company’s intellectual property assets include copyrights in television content, trademarks in brands, names and logos, websites, and licenses of intellectual property rights from third parties.

Cost Structure

Discovery Communications incurs costs in relation to the production of its original content, the management of its distribution channels, the operation of its programming networks, the management of its partnerships, and the retention of its personnel.

The Company accrues substantial general and administrative costs – including the payment of salaries and benefits to its workforce of more than 7,000 employees, and the payment of rental and utility fees across its network of offices – amounting in 2015 to $1.67 billion.

Revenue Streams

Discovery Communications generates revenue through the production and distribution of original programming content. Its revenue streams include:

  • Revenue derived from fees charged to distributors for first-run content;
  • Revenue derived from licensing fees charged to digital distributors; and
  • Revenue derived from the sale of advertising solutions to brand market and commercial entities.

In 2015 Discovery Communications generated annual revenue of $6.39 billion, up slightly on the $6.56 billion recorded in 2014. The Company’s revenue was split evenly between its two operating segments, with both US Networks and International Networks generating around $3.1 billion each. Revenue was similarly split evenly between distribution and advertising, with both recording revenue for the year of around $3 billion.

Our team

David Zaslav,
President and Chief Executive Officer

info: David (“Zaslav”) has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Communications since joining the Company in 2007. He oversaw the Company’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2008. Prior to joining Discovery Communications, Zaslav worked for more than 20 years at NBC. He held a number of positions at NBC, including President of Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution, and oversaw the operations of numerous NBC properties, such as Bravo, CNBC World, SCI FI, ShopNBC, Sleuth, Telemundo, Telemundo Puerto Rico, The History Channel, and National Geographic.

Andrew Warren,
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

info: Andrew (“Warren”) has served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2012. In addition to his role on the Company’s Executive Committee, Warren oversee Discovery Communications’s OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network joint venture. Warren joined Discovery Communications from Liz Claiborne, where he had served as Chief Financial Officer since 2007, and Executive Vice President from 2008. Prior to joining Liz Claiborne, Warren served for more than 18 years at General Electric, where he held a number of positions including Senior Operations Leader for the GE Audit Staff, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the NBC Universal Television Group, taking responsibility for the finance activities at the NBC Network, Studios, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, SciFi and Bravo.

David Leavy,
Chief Corporate Operations and Communications Officer

info: David (“Leavy”) was appointed to the role of Chief Corporate Operations and Communications Officer at Discovery Communications in 2016. Leavy has been with the Company for more than 16 years, and has held a number of positions at the Company. Prior to joining Discovery Communications, Leavy served as Chief Spokesman and Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council and Deputy White House Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs. In this role he managed press issues relating to foreign policy and chaired the Interagency Public Affairs Working Group that coordinated the Clinton Administration’s long range strategic messaging on international policy.

Jobs at Discovery Communications