10 Things you Didn’t Know about The Discovery Channel

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10 Things you Didn’t Know about The Discovery Channel

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Discovery Channel has announced the premiere dates for some of their Summer shows. The third season of Street Outlaws is slated to premiere on June 23rd at 9 PM ET/PT. The series will be a part of Motor Mondays and has been key in making Discovery the number #1 Cable network for Men between the ages of 25-54. In July, pro-athletes Richard Sherman, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Swisher, and DeAndre Jordan will be guest-starring on American Muscle, a sports documentary series about strength training. While you wait for those shows to premiere, take a look at ten fascinating facts you may not know about Discovery Channel.

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1.The Discovery Channel, which is now just known as Discovery Channel or simply Discovery, premiered in 1985 and is the first cable channel from the Discovery Communications group. David Zaslav has been the active CEO of the company since January of 2007. Discovery Channel is the second most distributed cable channel in the United States, only being outranked by TBS. 409 million households in the world have Discovery Channel as part of their current cable package. Discovery Communications headquarters are located in Silver Spring, Maryland. There are 5,486 employees. As of 2010, the city’s population was a little over 71,000.

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2. Though the channel did not begin broadcasting until June 17, 1985, the channel was actually founded by John Hendricks in 1982. Hendricks also founded the Women’s United Soccer Association in 1999 and donated $1 million to help build the Discovery Channel Telescope in 2004. When the network first premiered, it was accessible to 156,000 households and was on air from 3 PM — 3 AM all week long. 75% of the content shown on the network had never been previously broadcast in the United States. In five years, the channel was a part of 50 million households’ cable packages.

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3. Beginning in 2005, the Discovery Channel became the primary sponsor of a professional bicycling team that takes part in the Tour de France. The team’s name was the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team and featured seven-time winner Lance Armstrong. Prior to this, the team was sponsored by United States Postal Service. In 2004, the two companies were co-sponsors. In 2007, the winner of the race was Alberto Contador from Spain, who was on the team. Because of this, The Discovery Channel decided to end their sponsorship that would conclude at the remainder of that season. The team did not search for a new sponsor and disbanded.

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4. The Discovery Channel ventured into radio media and started the Discovery Channel Radio network. The programming featured audio versions of some of the more popular shows from the Discovery Communications Company. Discovery Channel Radio was first carried by XM Satellite Radio. They were dropped by the company in September 2005. The radio network whould then move to Sirius Satellite Radio, but was also dropped from their lineup in February 2007. The radio network was also carried by both of Canada’s satellite radio services. The Discovery Channel now has its own podcast where one can learn about animal behavior and human culture.

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5. The network has used many different taglines and logos. In the earlier years Discovery Channel used, “Explore Your World,” and “There’s No Thrill Like Discovery,” as their main taglines. As the network moved its focus from just educational programming to also include reality shows, the tagline “Entertain Your Brain,” was used. Other slogans sampled include, “Let’s All Discover,” and “The World is Just… Awesome.” The network’s logo was the same from 1987-1995. It was of a television screen with a map of the world. The logo was changed three more times including the current image that has been used since 2009.

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6. There was a hostage situation at the Discovery Communication Headquarters on September 1, 2010. The gunman was named James J. Lee and entered the building with two pistols and an explosive device attached to his body. He took three people hostage in the building’s lobby. The building would quickly be evacuated and most of the employees were able to leave the premises. The hostage situation lasted for almost four hours. Police were able to shoot Lee as the hostages tried to make an escape. No one else was injured. Lee was an environmental activist and his act is believed to be one of terrorism.

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The Paley Center For Media Presents An Evening With The Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters"

7. The Consumerist, a consumer affairs blog, reported that Discovery Channel pulled an episode of Mythbusters because they did not want to upset some of their advertisers over the topic. The Mythbusters team was going to examine Radio-frequency Identification (RFID), which is the use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data. RFID is used in the implementation of credit cards and to track goods. The Consumerist claimed Discovery Channel preempted the episode in fear that credit card companies would be upset with the content and cancel their advertising from the network. It was actually the production company behind the show that stopped the investigation.

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Traditonal Balinese Dancers Perform

8. In 2009, the network aired a commercial promoting a special entitled, Enigmatic Malaysia. The series would focus on the culture of the country of Malaysia. The promo included Balinese Pendet dancers, which are from Indonesia. Balinese dancers were angered over the depiction of being from Malaysia. They demanded the country admit to the incorrect information. This then led to many street protests. The demands for an apology escalated as high as the Malaysian government, who did issue an apology over the special. The Indonesian tourism minister rejected the apology because it was done over the phone and not a handwritten note.

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Spike TV's "Guys Choice 2014" - Red Carpet

9. Discovery Channel’s Shark Week continues to be one of the networks most lucrative programming ideas since its inception in 1987. The main reason the special was created was to build awareness and respect for a species that many people tend to fear. Over the 26 seasons, the network has tried to keep the audience engaged with more specials and interesting hosts including Mike Rowe, Andy Samberg, and Craig Ferguson. During the 20th anniversary celebration, the network launched a video game called Sharkrunners that used GPS data of tagged sharks. Shark Week 2014 will kick off on August 10th.

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Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton To Be Auctioned Off In Las Vegas

10. During Shark Week 2013, Discovery Channel ran a special about megalodon an extinct shark species that lived millions of years ago. Fossil remains prove that the shark-like creature was one of the largest vertebrates reaching a maximum length of almost 60 feet. The special showed a picture of what appears to be a giant shark swimming past German submarines in 1942. Environmental Activist George Monbiot asserts the images were faked by the network to pull in ratings. He claims the image is taken from a film, where there is no indication a shark is swimming past the subs.

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