The Discovery+ streaming service reached 17 million homes globally at the end of the second quarter, David M. Zaslav, President and chief executive officer, has confirmed.
The launch helped the broadcaster increase its ‘next generation’ revenues by 130% in the second quarter. Subsequently, interest in the Olympics in Europe has pushed uptake to 18 million subscribers.
“Like with the Winter Games, we’ve enjoyed some truly remarkable viewing shares in key markets, like the Nordics, in which our share of television viewing for certain sports has been upwards of 60% to 80%, and with outstanding traction with streaming across all markets, notably in the UK and Italy, which are newly launched markets for Discovery+,” Zaslav told an analyst call.
Zaslav will be pleased that UK press coverage, which has largely centred on the reduced coverage of the Olympics on the BBC rather than availability on Eurosport or Discovery+, has indirectly translated into new revenue.
Later this year Discovery+ will launch in Brazil, Canada and the Philippines, alongside additional Vodafone markets in Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Necessary improvements to Discovery’s technical platforms have resulted in a handful of these new markets slipping by about a quarter.
“These are sort of leaning toward more, sort of September and into the fourth quarter, where we had hoped, obviously, to be studied more ahead of that into the third quarter,” explained Jean-Briac (JB) Perrette, President And Chief Executive Officer Discovery International. “But due to obviously wanting to make sure we got the Olympic Games off the ground successfully and getting this replatforming completed, some of that will hit a little bit later in the second half of the year than we initially thought.”
Perrette brushed off reports linking Discovery with a bid for UK public broadcaster Channel 4, saying Discovery’s “successful track record” meant it would always be linked with such opportunities.