Discovery Synchronizing Brand Schedules

CANNES — Looking to attract advertisers on a global basis, Discovery Networks International is set to announce its first effort at “synchronized” primetime schedules worldwide.

Set to begin in the fourth ad quarter this year, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Health, three of Discovery’s five global brands, will each coordinate all primetime programming on a global basis. The new schedule, dubbed DNI Marquee, “gives advertisers with multiregional interests unprecedented opportunities to reach audiences around the world,” a spokesman for DNI told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday.

Under the arrangement, high-profile series and original specials on Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery Health will be scheduled concurrently in primetime throughout DNI’s regions in order “to maximize the benefits of global promotion and reach for advertisers,” DNI president Dawn McCall said.

Also Monday, Granada International and Discovery Networks International announced details of a major multiyear programming deal to jointly finance and produce 100 hours of new factual programming. The deal is an extension of a partnership between Discovery and the U.K.-based production and distribution outlet Itel, which became part of Granada Media last year.

It was negotiated by Discovery Networks International vp programming and sales Rex Recka and Granada International head of factual John Drury. The jointly financed projects will produce premier specials and series spanning genres including natural history, world cultures, science and exploration.