Discovery: major launch for Dutch TLC

Today, Monday July 1, Discovery Channels Benelux launches the fully dedicated Dutch version of TLC. Backed by a marketing campaign with a media value of more than one million Euros this is one of the major new channel launches in recent times – and the first of an analogue channel since John de Mol’s Talpa.

TLC is the international brand name for Discovery’s female skewed channel and is already present in countries across the world. “We are ready to challenge Net 5 and RTL8,” according to Jochem de Jong, senior VP and general manager, talking to Broadband TV News. “We noticed that lately programming on these two channel seems to be less focused on women, while we know from our distribution partners there is a demand for female skewed programing.”

In The Netherlands, TLC reaches instant 100% distribution from Day One in both analogue and digital because the channel will be using prime time, access prime and early nighttime on Animal Planet. “Our ratings research show that AP is performing very well during daytime, but the audience slips during the evening,” explained De Jong, “we put 2 and 2 together and decided to launch TLC on this channel.”

With the main Discovery Channel purely aimed a male audience, TLC fills the ‘gap’. Preparation for the launch started 18 months ago, in utmost secrecy. “We talked to our distribution partners, protection companies and had to acquire programming rights for the channel.”

The result is a 100% dedicated Dutch feed, played out from the London facilities of the Discovery Channel. A big nationwide campaign involving spots on all commercial radio stations, billboards as well as advertisements and joint promotions with magazines. This includes 150,000 free copies of a CD by Jenny Lane, which is included with the Dutrch version of Glamour magazine.

Programming on TLC consists of original programming from the channel itself, programmes acquired for the Dutch market, while special Dutch productions will be featured later in the year.

Ambition for the new channel run high at Discovery Benelux, as the broadcaster hopes to repeat its success with the male audience for Discovery, where it ranks as one of the best watched channels competing head on with Veronica and RTL7.