Nicolas Bonard extends network's reach

PARIS — After reopening its Paris offices in July, Discovery Networks is now repositioning itself within the French TV landscape.

The group has just renewed its distribution pact with French satellite platform CanalSat, and expanded its reach with the addition of two channels, Discovery Science HD and Discovery Education, which run alongside its flagship, Discovery Channel.

Discovery Science’s programming slate includes “Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design,” the three-part series based on the book co-written by Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, which explores such scientific mysteries as the origins and meaning of life; and “Prophets of Science Fiction,” a series of eight hour-long episodes highlighting the life and work of sci-fi masters from Jules Verne to George Lucas, which is hosted and exec produced by Ridley Scott.

Discovery Channel remains on CanalSat, but is joined by a newly-launched HD version. The channel’s lineup will be boosted by original TV programming, such as “Et l’homme crea le Monde,” a docu skein hosted by popular French journo Marc-Olivier Fogiel, as well as “Alcool de contrebande” turning on America’s illegal distillers, and “Prehistorique a la rencontre des dinosaures.”

“Discovery Channel is already the number one documentary channel in France, and the launch of Discovery Science HD will strengthen our presence in France,” said Nicolas Bonard, managing director of Discovery Channel France and Discovery Enterprises Intl.

The exec has said that the group’s ambition is to reconnect with commercial partners, and ink co-production deals with local TV players and filmmakers.

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