“We obviously see the growth prospects of this market and would like to be on a much bigger scale in India,” Jean-Briac (JB) Perrette, president, Discovery Networks International, told ET.
“We love this market. When you look at the next several decades, India is clearly a global driver and so the market holds a lot of appeal and we would like to continue to find ways to be bigger in this market. We’re constantly going to be placing bets and that’s consistent.”
And even as the company’s foray into the Hindi mass entertainment space, Jeet, has failed to perform, Perrette is unperturbed.
“We had this great opportunity that the team and Karan (Bajaj, GM, India business) felt was a space that was interesting. We also loved the idea. At the end of the day, it didn’t perform the way we wanted it to, but you know, if we get shy, or if we get concerned and conservative, we’re not going to survive,” Perrette said.
He added that the company has no problem taking big bets, particularly in markets that are very appealing. “India meets all the criteria. And even though Jeet didn’t work the way we thought it would, we’re going to keep hammering on various opportunities that we want to pursue.”
Despite a setback with Jeet, Discovery continues to enjoy a leadership position in the infotainment genre. It has a strong portfolio of factual entertainment channels such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Science, and TLC. Its kids channel, Discovery Kids, has seen a sharp jump in viewership since the launch of a new IP, ‘Little Singham’, while its digital product, Veer, is also raking in decent numbers.
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