IBC2018: Discovery is differentiating itself from the likes of Netflix and Amazon by offering targeted services in sports and local European markets, says DNI President Jean-Briac Perrette

Discovery is seeking to build audiences globally by super serving sports fans, said Discovery Networks International (DNI) President and CEO Jean-Briac Perrette.

“The best of local”: Jean-Briac Perrette

“Our strategy is focused on [sport] enthusiasts’ groups,” said Perrette, delivering a keynote at IBC2018. “We want to develop products to super serve those passion groups in linear and non-linear environments.”

Perrette said Discovery is positioning itself in Europe to serve fan bases across golf, cycling, tennis and motorsports.

In June, Discovery announced earlier this year a $2 billion partnership with the PGA Tour to create a global multi-platform home for golf outside the US.

Perrette said Discovery the deal aimed to “deliver great live experiences along with other modules that would become a killer offering [for fans].”

Entering the sports space was a “natural extension” for a factual player like Discovery, given the rise of OTT viewing.

Focussing on such a vertical strategy, tailored to specific audiences, sets it apart from its OTT competitors.

“There is an opportunity to develop a bigger aggregated OTT offering – best of local – which is different from Netflix and Amazon. We are not a content supermarket.”

Audiences expect to see content everywhere and Discovery is working to meet this demand by pursuing niche sport offerings and also by targeting content specific to regional territories across Europe.

“We are different from Netflix and Amazon… We are not a content supermarket”

For example, in June, Discovery announced that it was joining forces with ProSiebenSat.1 Media to build a German TV streaming platform to challenge Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube.

“We differentiate ourselves away from the Netflix and Amazons of the world by being the best of local.”

“Our joint venture with Prosieben in Germany is the beginning of that, we think there will be opportunities to do more with different markets across Europe.

“For broadcasters that is the future and it has to be. While these big players are investing a lot of money and time there is still a window for broadcasters globally to partner.”

Perrette said he is “hopeful to get RTL and others in that market” to pursue “another dimension of storytelling”.

He added: “There is a window for broadcasters across Europe to partner and lead locally led content offerings.”

Elsewhere, Perrette declined to comment on a possible partnership with BBC Studios that was mentioned by BBC Studios Chief Executive Tim Davie in his morning keynote session.

He said competition among broadcasters remains healthy, adding: “We are going to have to figure out ways to partner with more people who we might have historically said are traditional competitors.”

“We don’t have a crystal ball but we want to continue to be the leaders in owning the passionate communities wherever they are,” Perrette said.