The BBC and Discovery Channel Partner Up for New Platform and Shows

Category : Business

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. rights / raɪts / (n) – the legal power to produce something

    The broadcasting company bought the rights to produce the author’s stories into a TV series.

  2. air / / (v) – to inform a large audience through radio or television

    The radio station aired the commercial several times today.

  3. premium / ˈpriːmijəm / (adj) – of higher quality or better than normal

    The users who availed the premium subscription get additional features from the app, like accessing high-quality videos and saving songs offline.

  4. subscription / səbˈskrɪpʃən / (n) – an agreement to regularly receive a product or service usually paid in advance

    Her magazine subscription costs $10 a month.

  5. complement / ˈkɑːmpləˌmɛnt / (v) – to make something better

    The simple visuals complement the complex script of the video.


Read the text below.

The BBC and Discovery Channel recently partnered up to stream shows in a new platform.

Last March, Discovery Channel bought rights to broadcast the BBC’s content and develop new shows in a highly expensive deal. The contract, which is set to last for 10 years, is worth $392 million. Through this agreement, Discovery gains the authority to air the BBC’s natural history documentaries.

BBC Director General Tony Hall said that this is the biggest content deal BBC has ever made and that he believes it will still be of good value in 10 years.

The networks, whose businesses currently focus on television, aim to offer viewers a different experience through a video streaming platform. The platform will have a library of premium documentary shows, such as Planet Earth and Blue Planet. Through a subscription of under $5, viewers can access selected documentaries from the BBC and new shows from other genres, such as science and travel.

When asked how this new platform differs from existing and upcoming similar services, such as Netflix and Disney+, Discovery’s CEO and president, David Zaslav, said that those competitors mostly focus on fictional content; the BBC and Discovery’s content will focus on facts. BBC’s director general also highlighted that the shows in this platform will increase viewers’ environmental awareness.

Zaslav explained that the platform will offer more than just video streaming services. It will have podcasts to complement the videos, and there will also be an opportunity for viewers to interact with the creators of the shows.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Considering that the BBC and Discovery’s deal is expensive, do you think that this venture to create a subscription video services platform is good? Why or why not?
• Would you subscribe to the BBC and Discovery’s platform? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Why do you think television companies are shifting to subscription video service platforms?
• With the popularity of subscription video services, what do you think will be the future of broadcasting companies (e.g. TV, radio)? Discuss.

Category : Business