Discovery+ is going global. After debuting in India back in March, and then rolling out in the UK and Ireland last month, Discovery has announced that it’s taking its streaming service ambitions worldwide. Discovery+ will launch on January 4, 2021 in the US and the rollout will continue in 2021 across Italy, Latin America (including Brazil), the Netherlands, the Nordics, and Spain. Alongside, Discovery+ has announced 29 originals for the US market, featuring the likes of Sir David Attenborough, David Schwimmer, and Kevin Hart, and three Indian originals, led by Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Rana Daggubati, and Neeraj Pandey.
In the US, Discovery+ will cost $5 per month with advertisements, and the ad-free version coming in at $7 per month. But Verizon customers (on select plans) won’t have to pay anything for the first 12 months, as Discovery+ will be complimentary. All members will get access to four simultaneous streams, and can create up to five user profiles. Discovery+ is promising more than 55,000 episodes at launch spanning over 2,500 shows — from HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet — which it claims is the largest-ever offering for a new streaming service.
Coming to originals, Attenborough is lending his voice to a new five-part series called A Perfect Planet, due in 2021. A Perfect Planet will also be available on Discovery+ in India. In the UK, A Perfect Planet is a BBC original.
Friends star Schwimmer will narrate Mysterious Planet, a special that tells us the secrets about the world’s most incredible species. And Hart will go on a road trip in Route 66 (working title) to explore the American heartland. You can learn more about the other 26 Discovery+ US originals here, which involve Amy Schumer, Ludacris, Dan Levy, Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Sebastian Maniscalco, and Martha Stewart among others. Discovery+ is promising more than 1,000 hours of original content in the first year in the US.
As for the Indian Discovery+ originals, Bajpayee will host and Pandey will present Secrets of Sinauli: Discovery of the Century, which will look at the excavations of the Uttar Pradesh village Sinauli. The series has been made in collaboration with Archeological Survey of India. Daggubati will embed himself with Jaisalmer’s Border Security Force and live the life of a soldier in Mission Frontline. And Hooda, speaking in Hindi, will voice Ladakh Warriors: The Sons of the Soil, out December 9 on Discovery+. It focuses on the training of the “Snow Warriors” who guard the high-altitude border between India and China.
“Being a part of Secrets of Sinauli: Discovery of the Century was enriching in many ways because I got to learn so much more about ancient India,” Bajpayee said in a prepared statement. “The archeological discoveries made at Sinauli tell us so much about our history and about ancient civilisations that existed more than 4000 years ago. I have been able to see ancient Indian history from a new perspective and to know that this excavation is just the tip of the iceberg, and there is lots more to be discovered in the timeline of Indian history with regards to the Sinauli excavation is certainly exciting.”
Hooda added: “I am a fan of all the border men and their relentless efforts towards keeping our country safe. With Ladakh Warriors: The Sons of the Soil, discovery+ celebrates the snow warriors of India and I couldn’t be happier to be associated with a project like this. To be able to lend my voice to take the story of these heroes to the masses is an honor.”
Daggubati said: “It gives me immense pleasure to have an opportunity to live a day in the life of BSF Jawans. Having played a role of a soldier before, I can say that real life of a solider is very different from reel life. They are our real heroes and what they do for this country is unimaginable. I thank Discovery+ for bringing such a project that will give the people of this country a chance to get a glimpse into the lives of BSF and motivate the youth to serve the country.”
In 2021, Discovery+ will add more than 200 new and exclusive titles to its India product, it has announced. Beyond the aforementioned originals, it will also add the latest season of Top Gear and Gold Rush, in addition to the likes of Amma & Appa, The Indian Dream Hotel, The Ganges with Sue Perkins, Aerial India, The End of The Storm, and The Impossible Row.
Discovery+ serves India in eight languages, including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, and Marathi. It costs Rs. 99 per month or Rs. 299 per year.
Additionally, starting December 15, Discovery+ in India will provide access to six more live channels — Dkids, HGTV, Food Network HD, Travel Channel HD, DMAX HD, and Eurosport HD — that are part of the global Discovery Network. They join the existing channels that are Discovery HD, Animal Planet HD, TLC HD, Investigation Discovery HD, Discovery Science, and Discovery Turbo for a total of 12.
Lastly, the European launch of Discovery+ will be supported by Eurosport, which means members in that region will get access to tennis Grand Slams, cycling Grand Tours, motorsport, football, winter sports — and the Tokyo Olympics. Discovery+ will be the exclusive streaming home of the Olympics in Europe (excluding Russia).