Discovery Jeet to cease original programming by June-end, launch fresh intl content in H2 FY19

MUMBAI: Discovery Communications India’s ambitious project Discovery Jeet has hit a roadblock with the company deciding to pull the plug on original programming by June end, a company spokesperson has confirmed.

The company has decided to do away with original programming as it has failed to click with the audience. Discovery Jeet was positioned as a purpose-driven, fact-inspired entertainment.

The spokesperson further stated that the channel will be revamped with fresh content curated from Discovery and its latest acquisition Scripps library. The channel will air international content dubbed in Hindi in the second half of FY19.

Incidentally, Discovery Jeet had replaced Investigation Discovery, which used to air shows around Hollywood crimes, murder, and forensic investigations. ID also offered English content dubbed in Hindi.

“Our attempt to create a new category in the GEC space with Discovery JEET’s ‘purpose-driven, fact-inspired entertainment’ has not resonated with linear audiences in the way we had hoped. We remain very proud of the channel and undeterred by the inevitable challenges that come with driving an ambitious growth strategy in a market such as India. With Scripps pipeline, we now have double the size of content and formats at our disposal to help find the right formula of locally relevant programming for our portfolio,” Discovery India spokesperson said.

The spokesperson further added that the company “has experienced an impressive double-digit growth in Q1 of 2018 riding on multiple new initiatives including the launch of new digital products and the revamp of Discovery Kids”.

“We remain bullish about our growth path in India and ambitious to continue to scale in this important market,” the spokesperson said.

Discovery Jeet had launched on 12 February with a roster of original nine shows including ‘Swami Ramdev: Ek Sangharsh’, ’21 Sarfarosh: Saragarhi 1897′, ‘Mere Papa Hero Hiralal’, ‘Khan No 1’, ‘Comedy High School’, ‘Gabru: Hip-Hop Ke Shehzaade’, ‘Anjaan: Special Crimes Unit’, ‘Man Vs Wild with Sunny Leone’, and ‘Lucha: Dangal Ke Sultan’.

The channel was also well distributed with a reach of 140 million right from day one. It was available in the base pack of most TV distribution platforms with a top 10 EPG position.

Discovery had also inked a content licensing deal with Internet TV network Netflix. As part of the deal, the content will be available on Netflix for its global audience after it has aired on Discovery Jeet.