The size of Discovery’s stake was not disclosed. DogTV said it will use the investment to drive sales and marketing of the network.
With the investment, Discovery formed a strategic partnership with DogTV, under which the companies will collaborate to develop programming for Discovery’s Animal Planet. In addition, Discovery said it will help bring DogTV to more regions and territories.
“We are always interested in expanding our audiences — human and canine — and developing innovative programming,” said Rick Holzman, EVP of programming and strategy for Animal Planet. “We look forward to working with DogTV for new mutually beneficial opportunities for man and man’s best friend.”
DogTV is operated by Israel-based PTV Media, which owns a majority stake in the network. Jasmine TV, an Israeli media and communication group, previously invested in DogTV, as well as Ron Levi — a former TV and radio host who came up with the idea and is DogTV’s chief content officer — and other angel investors.
DogTV launched last summer on DirecTV, available a la carte for $4.99 per month. The channel also is available online for $9.99 per month, viewable on computers, Roku set-tops, Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, Samsung Smart TVs and LG connected TVs and Blu-ray players. The company does not disclose how many subscribers it has.
DogTV’s programming comprises 3- to 6-minute video clips in three categories: relaxation, stimulation and “exposure,” which centers on segments designed to habituate dogs to domestic stimuli (like riding in a car with a toddler). According to PTV Media, programming has been developed in consultation with experts in canine behavior.
The network recently opened its North American headquarters in Silicon Valley and expanded its programming to South Korea. The network also has plans to launch in Japan and in other international markets later this year.
DogTV’s execs insists that dogs really do watch TV. The company cites a survey conducted by the American Kennel Club and IAMS dog food that found nearly half of dog owners said their pets showed “some interest” in what was happening on the TV screen. More than 40 million American households own dogs, and they spend more than $55.8 billion annually on their pets, the company says.
“DogTV is a proven tool for relieving stress and anxiety for stay-at-home dogs, and a partnership with Discovery will help accelerate the network’s growth, while making DogTV even more accessible to dog owners,” DogTV CEO Gilad Neumann said.