Discovery CEO: Web 'Take-up Rate Is Not That Strong'

This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
Cable programmer Discovery (NSDQ: DISAB) is making its first foray in ad-supported, free-to-air TV on the UK's Freeview. (It's not free for Discovery, which is reported to be paying millions of pounds for the privilege.) But somehow Thursday's announcement turned into a rationale for Discovery's clip-oriented internet strategy as explained by CEO David Zaslav in the FT: "We have opted not to put a lot of our content on to the web. There is not a very strong economic model, number one, and, number two, from a viewership perspective, despite how aggressively others have gone on to the web, the take-up rate is not that strong." Broadcasters have more leeway; cable nets need ad support to justify putting full-length shows online.

Viewers want clips from Planet Earth and Shark Week. Zaslav: "We prefer to be on YouTube with clips, to be found by people on the first page of *Google*. That is Fifth Avenue: it's where people go to shop."

Sure enough, Hulu's video search engine finds 4,870 Discovery clipsand 1 full episode, 21 minutes of Flip This House.


By Staci D. Kramer

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