It's the Italian media company with the major share growth in 2015. With creativity, and the ability to surprise, brings innovation to Italy’s media industry, featuring new offerings, new formats and a multi-platform presence

Marinella Soldi

Marinella Soldi

The U.S. Open tennis final between Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci, broadcast with great clarity on Deejay Tv; the RBS Six Nations and the Italian National Rugby Team’s test matches on Dmax; documentary-style reality Tv shows on Real Time, crime shows on Giallo, science and documentary programmes on Focus, animated series on K2 and Frisbee, factual shows on Discovery Channel and Discovery Science, weird and wonderful journeys on Discovery Travel & Living, and 5,000 hours of live sports every year on Eurosport.

This is a media company that, in the past few years, has revolutionized television in Italy, with new offerings and new formats that transcend the stereotypical programming schedule. Creativity, innovation, and the ability to dare and to surprise, combined with a presence across all platforms, linear and non-linear: these are the pillars that have allowed Discovery Italia, under the stewardship of Marinella Soldi, President and Managing Director of Discovery Networks Southern Europe and General Manager of Discovery Italia, to be the number three broadcaster in Italy, with a 7% share of the market. Discovery has an enviable portfolio, earning the network a series of awards: the first to bring factual entertainment to Italy, the first broadcaster to understand and anticipate trends, and the first to create talent shows with everyday people.

Based on its remarkable growth, the broadcaster has continuously developed its range, which now extends into the realm of crime fiction, sport, children’s Tv and observational reality. An incredible degree of care is taken, being married with the ability to anticipate public expectations, thus leading to the creation of love brands: channels that become part of the collective imagination. 

Storytelling is part of Discovery’s dna. With this inclination, it recognizes that its role as a broadcaster comes with a strong sense of responsibility, raising awareness of issues such as diversity and disability (Vite divergenti, The Undeteables, and The Little Couple, just to name a few). The year 2015 was particularly significant. It was the year that Discovery Italy purchased Deejay Tv, its first foray into neo-generalist television. It also launched Dplay, an entertainment streaming service allowing viewers to watch their favourite shows, from free broadcasting to on-air channels, any time, anywhere, on any device. With Deejay Tv and Dplay, on one hand Discovery has expanded to include the traditional general public and, on the other hand has made more innovative use of content.

The group has completed its acquisition of Eurosport and has strongly increased its original Italian production, which now exceeds 400 hours per year, with programs such as Bake-off Italia, Take me out, Italiani made in China, cooking show Unti e bisunti, I colori dell’amore and scripted reality show Alta infedeltà. Discovery has also become part of Auditel’s board. There is a real dynamism within the company, where the 240 employees have an average age of 35, comprising men and women in equal proportion (based not on quota but on merit). Half of Discovery’s 14 channels are free to view (Real Time, Dmax, Deejay Tv, Giallo, Focus, K2 and Frisbee), the other seven are pay-Tv (Discovery Channel, Discovery Science, Discovery Travel&Living, Animal Planet (exclusive to Sky), Discovery World (exclusive to Mediaset Premium), and Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 (available on both platforms).

Thanks to this partnership, Discovery is present on satellite and terrestrial Tv. The jewel in the free-to-air crown is Real Time, which ranks eighth in Italy by audience share. This thematic network has managed to conquer the public, including female and male audiences, covering entertainment fields from reality Tv, to talk shows and cooking programs. Discovery’s presence on social media is particularly significant. In fact, Real Time and Dmax have more than 3 million fans on Facebook. This is a real asset when it comes to strengthening dialogue and the connection with viewers.