Discovery Communications will continue to support its 14 cable channels by investing $1.5 billion in original programming this year, according to Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
Zaslav, who opened Discovery's Television Critics Association summer tour presentation Thursday, said that the company has significantly improved support for its cable business since his arrival seven years ago. The company's 14 channels currently have a cable viewership share of 11% compared to just 3.5% in 2006. Discovery has also doubled its commitment to original programming during that time to $1.5 billion from $500 million, according to Zaslav.
"Here in the US we've launched more channels in aggregate than all the other media companies combined," he said. "We still believe that if we can find a compelling brand, create good storytelling and characters and invest with great creative energy, we can create new channels that people spend time with. We're finding some meaningful success."
Zaslav also pointed to Discovery's international business, touting that the company "makes more money with our cable business and is the largest international cable programmer in the world."