Discovery CEO David Zaslav said content is key to grabbing consumers’ attention, but the days of pouring tons of resources solely into cable are far behind. He believes that HGTV 'Fixer Upper' stars Chip and Joanna Gaines will be a big part of that strategy in 2020.
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“It’s about owning content that people want to see when they can see anything, and really this idea [is] what would people pay for to see before they would pay for dinner, and people love Chip and Joanna,” he told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday on the subject of starting a new network for which they will be the chief creator officers.
“We are going to put a lot of resources behind that. But in the old days that would have been it,” he added. “Today we want to bring Chip and Jo to every device everywhere in the world.”
The company also announced, last week, a big streaming deal with the BBC to bring natural history shows, including ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Animal Planet’ to a new streaming service.
“We’re going to go directly to the consumer with a natural history product in 2020,” he said. “And so we see ourselves as really having two businesses. We have our cable channels and free to air channels around the world."
And despite concerns about digital puncturing volume in the TV industry, consumers still have a hearty appetite for the traditional model, he said.
“The market feels pretty good,” he said. “TV stills seems to be place that has the biggest impact with consumers and it’s a safe place. We’re like at the top of the pyramid on safety. Part of our pitch is we’re the third largest TV company in America.”