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Sunday Discussion: Discovery Communications Needs A Wake Up Call

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This Sunday Discussion, on a Monday, is not going to talk about problems with Alabama politics, which has been an ongoing trend the past few weeks.  Nope, this Sunday Discussion is going to talk about problems inside a major TV network company, Discovery Communications.  Man Discovery, you used to air some great programming that people can enjoy and learn from.  One of your old slogans was “entertain your brain.”  Today, your slogan should be “entertain your sexual thoughts.”  Yep, one of your stars is in trouble once again over some sexual favors that happened in the past.

One of Discovery Communications top shows is 19 Kids and Counting.  And somehow the folks at TLC never did any background checks on the Duggar family.  One of the family members named Josh Duggar inappropriately touched four of his sisters and another non-family female member back in 2002, 13 years ago!  Yea sure, some are calling the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting as something that should not happen, because people can learn from their mistakes.  Josh did apologize for his actions, but he kept this secret until it was uncovered by Oprah in 2006.

Oh, this has not been the only problem inside Discovery Communications.  Another former TLC show called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo got cancelled after Mama June spent time again with an ex-boyfriend who molested her daughter.  There was Sons of Guns which got cancelled after Will Hayden was arrested for aggravated rape of his own daughter and other family members and co-stars.  The TLC show Cheer Perfection got cancelled after a mother pleaded guilty for sexual assault and sexual conduct of a child.  And the TLC show Cake Boss almost got canned after star Buddy Valastro’s brother-in-law was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.  See a pattern here?

When the news was coming out that Josh Duggar touched other family members in private areas, TLC was airing a 19 Kids and Counting marathon.  No seriously, while everyone was writing and publishing articles about the sexual problems of a Duggar family member, TLC was trying to make money airing a show with a family member who has problems with himself.  I mean, who is programming TLC?  Because when the news came out, people on social media were noticing this.  You should have pulled the 19 Kids and Counting programming immediately!  Even if that mean the TV guides were wrong, you should have aired something else!

TLC used to be called The Learning Channel, and I remember when they aired some great programming that you could learn from.  Today, TLC airs programming that some considers being a freak show.  Heck, even the network chief has admitted that TLC has become a “freak show”!  Sorry, TLC is no longer The Learning Channel; it should be called the “Touching Little Children” channel.  Discovery claims that TLC airs programming that profiles family, style, and life milestones.  Yea, programming about obese people, people who have sexual problems, and people who have life crisis’s, that is what TLC has become today.

Admit it; TLC has some major network reputation rebuilding to do.  And one way to do that is to make and air programming that you can learn from.  How about looking back on what your aired back in the 1990’s?  Programming about home renovation, updating a wardrobe, learning about history and animals, and more.  That was the TLC that should have never left the room.  Today, TLC has become a junk reality TV channel that is rapidly coming out of style.  In case you have not heard, reality TV is rapidly dying on TV.  Viacom is learning this the hard way with major ratings drops.  Today, people only wants to pay for quality and well written shows.  This is something TLC and the other Discovery Communications channels are struggling with.

Ratings have been going way down for all of the Discovery Communications networks.  And it’s worse in the 18 to 49 age demographic, the age group where networks make their ad money.  I mean, when Discovery Communications makes more reality TV crap then making quality TV shows that people wants to watch, you can see why the ratings are struggling.  Over on Discovery, close to half of their programming is about people surviving in the wild while naked, or shows about people committing crimes.  Over on Animal Planet, they are airing shows that are not about animals.  Over on Discovery Family, they are refusing to even update their commercials about the My Little Pony premiere.  And over on Destination America, people found out that TNA wrestling was going to be canceled, and it has made people not too happy.

Here is what I think about the Discovery Communications networks.  Discovery Channel is the we only care about ad money and reality TV crap channel.  Animal Planet is the we refuse to care about animals channel.  TLC is the we care about sexual predators channel.  Oprah Winfrey Network is the we only care about people with major problems channel.  Science Channel is the we only care about aliens channel.  Destination America is the we only care about repeats channel.  Discovery Family is the we only care about three Hasbro cartoons channel.  Investigation Discovery is the we care about criminals channel.  And who has heard of Discovery Life and Health, or Velocity, or American Heroes channel, you are not promoting those channels too much!

See Discovery, you have lost focus on all of your channels.  Science Channel used to be a great science themed channel, but aliens are mostly their focus now.  Discovery Family used to be Hub Network, but today the channel is filled with the shows people have grown tired of on TLC, like Extreme Couponing and shows about winning the lottery, those are not family shows!  And Investigation Discovery, how about airing shows about good people stopping criminals, instead of putting the criminals in the spotlight?  As you can see, Discovery Communications has some major problems on their hands.  And with their new programming they have announced, I don’t see a turnaround coming anytime soon.

So, what can Discovery Communications do to make a complete turnaround?  How about making some better programming for starters!  Animal Planet should only care about animals.  Science Channel should only care about science. Discovery Channel should only care about shows about discovering and learning, same goes for TLC.  I mean, when you compare the programming on Discovery Channel to the programming on National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo has Discovery beat by a mile!  The same goes for Nat Geo Wild beating Animal Planet way out of the water!  Other networks like Discovery are beating the pants out of Discovery Communications, because they made the decision to make better programs!

As for Discovery Communications, it has been stay the course while the Titanic is speeding towards that iceberg.  Another thing Discovery should do is make their channels available for places like Sling TV.  I mean, more people are cutting the cord, and if you Discovery don’t make your shows available easier on the internet, people will find them, on the torrents!  And another thing, and this is something every major TV network operator will have to eventually deal with, the killing off of lesser known channels.  Other than the ratings for cheap reality TV collapsing, the TV ratings for repeats have been collapsing as well.

With more and more people cutting the cable cord and streaming their shows on the internet, there will come a time when lesser known TV networks with mostly repeats should close down.  Some channels Discovery Communications should consider axing includes Destination America, Discovery Life and Health, and Discovery Family.  For the few new shows on those networks, those could be moved to other networks easily!  It would give Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet more new programming, and it would save Discovery Communications money.

The days of hundreds of cable TV channels is coming to an end!  And it will make more sense to kill off lesser known channels and focus only on the major channels.  Hey Discovery, you can begin the trend that will eventually come!  Will you do this; I am not holding my breath!  Until you decide to make better programs, you will continue to struggle.  Enjoy continuing to make crappy TV programs, while people are watching your competitors!

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