Discovery Network uses quintet for youth drive

Documentary broadcaster The Discovery Network has recruited its first roster of PR agencies as it bids to attract younger viewers and better target its 16 channels.

Five agencies – Frank PR, Lexis PR, Shine Communications, Launch PR and Braben & Co – have landed a place on the roster to handle programme publicity as the firm invests more in reality-TV shows.

Much of the PR focus is on Discovery Real Time, aimed at men, and Discovery Home & Health, targeted at women. They were rebranded last May from Discovery Home & Leisure and Discovery Health respectively.

Discovery director of comms Sue Jackson said Frank, Lexis and Shine had been recruited specifically to work on the lifestyle portfolio, which also included Travel & Living.

For Real Time, Launch – which also has some lifestyle channel work – is  overseeing a home improvement series. Lexis is promoting a fishing show, and Frank is handling tattoo parlour documentary Miami Ink.

Braben will work on the flagship Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.

The other channels on the network include Civilisation, Science, Wings and Kids.

According to the British Audience Research Board, the Discovery Network's total audience share climbed from 2.3 to 2.8 per cent between 2004 and 2005.

Discovery is keen to tap in to new-media platforms. The Discovery Channel was included in a trial last year of a TV-over-mobile service via O2 and NTL Broadcast.

The network continues to retain Mantra for its corporate PR.

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