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Discovery Partners with BBC to Launch Non-Fiction Streaming Service to Compete with CuriosityStream

Discovery and BBC announced this morning, a 10-year content partnership covering all markets outside of UK, Ireland, and China. Discovery will use the deal as the basis to launch a new streaming service covering nonfiction documentaries and series about science, technology, history and nature.

The service will include BBC programs like Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and Dynasties, as well as newly created series after they air on linear TV. Discovery will bring content like Deadliest Catch, MythBusters, and Shark Week to the service.

While exact pricing was not announced, the new subscription service is expected to cost $5 a month.

David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery:

“The new platform will be the first global direct-to-consumer service with the category’s most iconic IP including the Planet Earth series, future sequels and spin-offs to all existing landmark series, and new exclusive natural history and science programming coming in the future.

There is tremendous value in the marketplace for these programming categories which have broad appeal and strong multi-generational engagement, and we hope to fill the void in the global marketplace for a dedicated high quality product.”

The service appears to be going head-to-head with CuriosityStream which was created by Discovery founder John Hendricks and includes 1,700 on demand science, technology and nature documentary and features.

The service, which reached 1 million subscribers earlier this year, has experienced slower than expected growth. They recently dropped the price from $5.99 to $2.99 a month, and added free ad-supported content called CuriosityStream Showcase.

This isn’t the only streaming service Discovery is expected to launch. Zaslav, Discovery’s Chief Executive, mentioned that they plan to launch the Peloton of Food which will allow subscribers to take classes will celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay.

The company also plans rebrand one of their smaller channels Magnolia Network with lifestyle gurus, Chip and Joanna Gaines. It is expected that the channel will replace an existing Discovery channel, likely DIY, Destination America, or Great American Country. While there hasn’t been a firm timetable for launch, some speculate that it could be in the next 12-18 months.

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