David Zaslav Says Pay-Streaming Service for Discovery Portfolio Coming ‘Very Soon’

Kinda like Disney+, but with cooking and house-flipping shows

Last Updated: September 17, 2020 @ 7:39 AM

Discovery, Inc. chief David Zaslav said on Thursday that his company and bundle of channels including HGTV, Food Network and TLC is “very close” to launching its own global pay-streaming service — like a Disney+ for Mike Rowe, Bobby Flay and “90 Day Fiancé” fans.

“You’ll hear from us soon. I think one of the keys is getting partners to help,” Zaslav said this morning during a Goldman Sachs Communacopia interview. “So we’ve been very quietly over the last year working aggressively, getting all of our stuff together. We’re quite close.”

“The additional thing that’s happened is, people are getting very acclimated to this idea of subscribing. I think we’re at the very beginning of that cycle, and they’ve subscribed to a lot of stuff,” he continued. “For us, we’re going to be coming with a fresh library of content, a huge amount of fresh originals at a time when the road has been paved by Netflix and Disney and HBO, and people are getting more and more acclimated to viewing content on devices.

“Our only challenge right now is we’re not on every device,” Zaslav said. “We will be very soon and we will be in a way that’s aggressive.”

Internationally, the upcoming Discovery, Inc. SVOD service will include local language programming and local sports.

Discovery currently has a free digital-viewing option that includes limited programming and advertisements.

At this time, it is unclear if Chip and Joanna Gaines’ upcoming Magnolia Network — a highly anticipated rebrand of the DIY Network that will include new “Fixer Upper” episodes — will be included in this global direct-to-consumer offering.

Magnolia Network is being planned as both a traditional cable channel and a pay-streaming offering. After some setbacks due to the coronavirus shutdown, Magnolia Network is now set for a 2021 launch.

A person with knowledge of the plans told TheWrap on Thursday that the Discovery portfolio’s “key brands” will be included in the larger-scale streaming service. It is unclear if the bundle will include the Magnolia Network.