Discovery looks to VOD for 3D internationally

Discovery Communications may look to launch 3D services internationally as part of video-on-demand offerings rather than attempt to replicate the launch of its 3Net joint venture with Sony in markets outside the US, according to Mark Hollinger, CEO of Discovery Networks International.

Discovery launched 3Net in the US in February. Speaking to press after Discovery’s ‘upfront’ presentation to advertisers in New York at the end of last week, Hollinger said: “Internationally we monitor this all the time. Right now it may be that a full channel is not the next path to take. It may be a VOD product for a while, but when there is a need we will be there with a channel.”

Discovery’s joint venture with Sony is restricted to the US, with Sony retaining some international programming rights, so some content on 3Net would not be available internationally.

Speaking at the same event, Discover president and CEO David Zaslav said that the broadcaster would spend US$1 billion (€700 million) on original programming this year, up from US$800 million last year.

Zaslav said that much of Discovery’s future growth would come from international markets,  boosted by investment in local content around the world. “The US is a very robust pay TV market but subscriber growth is about flat,” said Zaslav. “We are still outperforming the market but when you look around the world to Chile, Portugal, Russia, Romania or India these are markets that feel a lot more like the US 10 years ago.”

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