Discovery to Shell Out $2.5B


Seeking to re-establish quality original fare across the board, Discovery
Networks U.S. said it will spend $2.5 billion over the next five years toward
the creation of new shows and series.

The financial allotment will be spread over the network's owned-and-operated
basic and digital networks, as well as Discovery Times Channel, a co-venture
with The New York Times Co. that launched Wednesday.

The financial pledge comes on top of another $65 million for several
high-definition documentaries to air on another newly launched channel,
Discovery HD Theater.

The announcements were made during the programmer's upfront presentation at
New York's American Museum of Natural History Tuesday.

Discovery Networks president Billy Campbell said the multibillion-dollar
outlay continues efforts begun last year to increase the amount of original
programming on all of the company's networks.