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Discovery discovers fresh lifestyle niche

Channel repositioning is result of 18 months of research

SINGAPORE — Discovery Travel & Living’s Asia launch on Jan. 1 is more than just a channel rebrand, it’s a strategic shift toward lifestyle programming outside the U.S.

Just unveiled are Discovery Lifestyle Network’s three channels — core brand Discovery Travel & Living, to be joined mid-2005 by Discovery Real Time and Discovery Home & Health.

These will replace the existing Discovery Travel & Adventure, H&L and Health channels.

The repositioning is the culmination of 18 months of research by the Lifestyle Project Team — executives from Discovery Networks Intl. covering markets outside of the U.S.

“We looked at content trends across regions and a variety of media,” says Discovery Networks Asia’s veep of marketing and communications Kevin Dickie. “Lifestyle content has driven print growth, while on TV, lifestyle programming is shifting from daytime to primetime schedules.”

Describing this as an evolutionary process, Dickie says this is not just a name change but a strategic move not only in Asia, but also Latin America from Jan. 1, followed by the U.K., Europe, Middle East & Africa later in the year.

Food and makeover have driven Travel & Living in Asia.

“The great thing about this expanded positioning is that we are no longer limited to food within a travel context,” says Dickie, as Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Kylie Kwong join the line-up.

The latest series of Anthony Bourdain’s “A Cook’s Tour” rated 4.9 among Singapore adults aged 25-54, a pay TV rating bettered only by English Premier League soccer.

Popular makeover shows to air on Discovery Travel & Living include “The Block” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

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