And, for its next trick, Discovery Channel will air wingsuit jumper Joby Ogwyn attempting the first wingsuit flight off the summit of Mount Everest. “Everest Jump Live” will be broadcast on the channel and in 224 countries and territories in May.
“This is history in the making,” said Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC Networks. “Discovery Channel continues to bring live broadcast events unlike anything you’ll see on television – from Felix Baumgartner’s world record for the highest space jump to Nik Wallenda’s incredible tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon.”
(As some killjoys noted at the time, Wallenda actually crossed a tightrope over a canyon near the Grand Canyon, not the canyon itself.)
Discovery will air two hourlong pre-shows detailing Joby’s training and preparations for Everest. Then it will air a live 2-hour broadcast showing him battling his way to the summit, and plunging from the top in a custom-made wingsuit. It will be equipped with cameras showing his 10,000 vertical feet descent at speeds of more than 150 mph.
Joby (pictured) first summited Everest at just 24 years-old, becoming the youngest American to make it to the top. In 2008, he set the world record for the fastest ascent of Everest, climbing from the base of the south side route to the summit in nine and a half hours. It typically takes at least three days.
“This will be the final piece of my dream. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve imagined what it would be like to fly. I can’t think of a more spectacular backdrop than Everest,” said Joby. “Everything that I’ve ever accomplished in my life has just been practice for what I’m about to do.”
The event is produced by Peacock Productions for Discovery with Gretchen Eisele, Colleen Halpin, Benjamin Ringe and Knute Walker serving as executive producers. Sharon Scott is president and GM of Peacock Productions, and Howard Swartz serves as executive producer for Discovery.