Discovery CEO Touts Global Streamer as Unscripted TV Juggernaut: "This Is Our Time"

90 Day Fiance Before 90 -Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy TLC

'90 Day Fiance'

David Zaslav talked up 230 hours of exclusive '90 Day Fiance' spinoff content on Discovery+ to entice consumers away from rival streamers filled with scripted fare.

David Zaslav is a fan of popular scripted dramas like The Crown on Netflix and The Undoing on HBO, which he says he watched and enjoyed.

But on Monday, the Discovery president and CEO said his upcoming lifestyle streaming service Discovery+ will launch on Jan. 4, just as TV consumers may have exhausted the scripted dramas and comedies on rival streamers, and crave new and original real-life unscripted fare.

"There's all kinds of wonderful content out there. But if most people are like me, I'm calling my friends and saying what do I watch now?" Zaslav told the UBS Global TMT Virtual Conference during a session that was webcast.

He focused on what he sees as competitive advantages for Discovery+, like new and original unscripted series, a lifestyle programming library to rival the scripted content on Netflix, and distribution deals at launch like with Verizon in the U.S. and Sky in the U.K.

Zaslav said Discovery+ would seize the direct-to-consumer market with exclusive popular unscripted content like Chip & Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper reboot and new spin-off shows from TLC's 90 Day Fiance franchise for 90 Day superfans.

"We have over 230 hours of exclusive content of 90 Day on Discovery+. We have all of our great talent doing exclusive content on Discovery+. Those are going to be very powerful magnets," he argued.

Zaslav was answering Wall Street analysts who question whether the wall of unscripted fare to come with Discovery+ will be enough to draw subscribers away from Netflix, Disney+ and other scripted TV streaming giants.

"Scripted has had its moment, and this is our time," he told the investors conference. Discovery+ will launch with 50 originals in January, as it combines programming from across the conglomerate's brands, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Animal Planet and OWN.

It will also include programming from A&E Networks channels A+E, History and Lifetime, bolstering lifestyle content offerings to include more than 55,000 episodes and over 2,500 shows.