Discovery Communications is creating a new tech unit and expanding its business development division to capitalize on new opportunities with developing technologies.

The business development group now encompasses program sales, homevideo, books, interactive video, interactive TV and pay-per-view.

Senior vice president Domenick Fioravanti is heading the division, with veeps Tom Porter and Fred Bonner and senior VP Sandy McGovern reporting to him.

Fioravanti said the move reflects Discovery’s belief that the industry is on the brink of a new revolution in TV. The company wants to be ready to license its basic asset–the programming it uses on its Discovery Channel and Learning Channel cable networks–to new delivery systems as they emerge.

Discovery already markets its programing on homevideo and on laserdisc. It is about to introduce it through CD-ROM. Fioravanti believes there will soon be many other interactive products in the consumer marketplace.

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