Discovery Channel (formerly The Discovery Channel) is an American satellite and cable specialty channel (also delivered via IPTV, terrestrial television and internet television in other parts of the world), founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav. It provides documentary television programming focused primarily on popular science, technology, and history.
In the U.S., the programming for the main Discovery network is primarily focused on reality television themes, such as speculative investigation (with shows such as MythBusters, Unsolved History, and Best Evidence), automobiles, and occupations (Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch); it also features documentaries specifically aimed at families and younger audiences. A popular annual feature is Shark Week.
On June 17, 1985, The Discovery Channel was launched with $5 million in start-up capital from several investors (including BBC, Allen & Company and Venture America). It was initially available to 156,000 households and broadcasted for 12 hours between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. About 75 percent of its content had never before aired on U.S. TV. John Hendricks founded the channel and its parent company, Cable Educational Network Inc., in 1982.