×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

John Hendricks, Founder of Discovery Channel, Launches Internet Subscription VOD Service

John Hendricks — a pioneer in the cable TV programming world who founded Discovery Channel — is launching an Internet-based video-on-demand subscription service with a slate of nonfiction content akin to what he used for the cabler’s debut 30 years ago.

CuriosityStream is an advertising-free SVOD service, with content comprising a mix of original series and licensed shows. It’s slated to debut March 18, 2015, with about 800 video titles.

“The advent of online-streaming technology utilized by Netflix and other successful video-streaming services has created a video transmission infrastructure that finally allows viewers to watch what they want to watch, when they want to watch it,” Hendricks, also formerly chairman of Discovery Communications, said in a statement. “For consumers, our aim is to provide the first and best on-demand video streaming destination that aggregates and curates the world’s best factual content.”

Hendricks stepped down as chairman of Discovery Communications last year.

Popular on Variety

CuriosityStream will be available in four packages: standard definition for $2.99 per month; 720 HD resolution for $3.99 per month, 1080 HD resolution for $5.99 per month and 4K at $9.99 per month.

Hendricks is chairman of the new company launching the service, Curiosity Project LLC, which has offices and studios located in Silver Spring, Md. (where Discovery Communications is based).

CuriosityStream has commissioned several documentary series and short-form programming in 4K resolution format, including “Big Picture Earth,” a 20-part series to be produced by David Conover, the filmmaker behind “Sunrise Earth” (one of the early programs on Discovery’s original HD network). Two other originals — “Deep Time History,” tracing great people and events of history along with their geologic and geographic underpinnings, and “Digits,” a history of computers and the Internet — which will be available in North America only on CuriosityStream.

Licensed programming comes from partners including France’s ZED, Flame Distribution, Terra Noa, Japan’s NHK and BBC Worldwide. In addition, short-form content of less than eight minutes in length will comprise a significant part of the CuriosityStream library. Its in-house Curiosity Studios conducts about 20 video interviews monthly with different experts and notable names, including Deepak Chopra, Sheryl WuDunn and Michio Kaku.

The Curiosity Project’s management team includes president Elizabeth Hendricks North, who is John’s daughter; Steve Burns, exec VP of content production and acquisition, who is a former Discovery and National Geographic exec; Richard Sergay, a former ABC News producer, who serves as the interview host for Curiosity Studios and as a senior consultant for Curiosity Project’s partnerships and acquisitions; and Carrie Hurlburt, VP of creative, who previously worked at Discovery.

The Curiosity Project’s engineering and software team developed the CuriosityStream streaming infrastructure with partners including Limelight Networks, which will provide content hosting and delivery. The SVOD service will be available on an array of connected devices, including desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, Apple TV, Roku, and Google Chromecast.

More Digital

  • Cenk Uygur

    Bernie Sanders Retracts Endorsement of Young Turks Founder Cenk Uygur After Backlash

    Bernie Sanders pulled his support for Cenk Uygur’s congressional bid, with the Vermont independent in part acknowledging that Sanders’ supporters were “frustrated” about the endorsement. Sanders, who’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, cited Uygur’s announcement Friday that he would not be accepting any endorsements. In a statement, Sanders alluded to sexist and other [...]

  • Tana MongeauStreamy Awards, Arrivals, The Beverly

    Streamy Awards 2019: The Complete Winners List

    The 9th Annual Streamy Awards — honoring the best from YouTube and online video — were held Friday night in Beverly Hills. Tana Mongeau (pictured above) was named Creator of the Year and Rhett & Link’s “Good Mythical Morning” won Show of the Year in the two fan-voted Audience Choice categories. David Dobrik picked up [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News Digital Workers Form New Union

    A group of approximately 150 editorial workers who help produce some of NBC News digital content have formed a union, citing a desire to push their employer to work more seriously through such issues as equal pay and the recent handling of sensitive stories. Editorial employees of NBC News Digital won certification of their union [...]

  • Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    The Fox Nation streaming-video service has long been touted as a new option for super-fans of the Fox News Channel. But some of the broadband hub’s new programming choices suggest adherents of “Fox & Friends” and Sean Hannity aren’t looking solely for chatter about politics and interviews with members of the Trump administration. Subscribers to [...]

  • Facebook

    FTC May Stop Facebook From Integrating Whatsapp, Instagram

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is weighing whether it should seek an injunction against Facebook to prevent the social media giant from integrating services like Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram with its core app, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Regulators fear that Facebook’s app integration plans could make [...]

  • Ivanka Trump

    Ivanka Trump Reportedly Set to Speak at CES 2020

    Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and an adviser to the president, is scheduled to appear on a panel at CES 2020 in January, according to a published report. Ivanka Trump will appear on a panel set for Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. at the Las Vegas confab with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content