On the other hand, it has, according to Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, “been very active in granting TV Everywhere rights” and these are now held by a quarter of its distributors.
Commenting on business models, Hollinger said that the adoption of a la carte or completely on demand models would create a completely different environment and one in which it would certainly not invest the $1.5 billion it plans to this year.
Hollinger also spoke about the results of a recent research study undertaken by Discovery and The Future Foundation.
Focusing on 10 markets in the CEEMEA region, it found that 49% of viewers in Poland watch live TV through an online device.
However, this figure rose to 58% in Bulgaria and Ukraine, 61% in Russia, 62% in Turkey and 64% in Romania.
Looking at multiscreen, it found that 52% of respondents across the 10 markets accessed extra content online about programmes they are watching.
In another area called ‘Time Maximizing”, 75% of Polish respondents continue to watch scheduled programming but 85% would prefer to watch TV when they want rather than when the schedule dictates.
Commenting specifically on Poland, Hollinger said it was one of the company’s top five revenue markets outside the US.
As a result, the CEEMEA business, which operates in 105 counties and territories and has 235 million cumulative subscribers, is based in Warsaw.
Hollinger also praised the Polish government’s policy of creating a level playing field for international broadcasters competing with local ones and said it was a model that should be followed.
Commenting on Discovery’s recent investments, including SBS Nordic channels and a stake in Eurosport, Hollinger said that it had been a busy time for the company, though acquisitions are not the primary way to grow.
Furthermore, Discovery remains committed to its core pay-TV business.