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Discovery busting out the big guns

Discovery, the cable programmer built on nature and science shows, is turning to Mike Tyson’s racing pigeons, Oprah Winfrey and Transformers to drive audience and revenue growth.

Discovery, the cable programmer built on nature and science shows, is turning to Mike Tyson’s racing pigeons, Oprah Winfrey and Transformers to drive audience and revenue growth.

Animal Planet’s “Taking on Tyson,” a show about the former boxer’s fascination with pigeons, is part of a push for viewers by Discovery’s U.S. channels. Since October, the company has added the Oprah Winfrey Network, with specials and talk shows by Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell, and The Hub, a children’s outlet co-owned by Hasbro, maker of Transformers toys.

“This is a mature company, and the only way to grow is to expand its audience beyond traditional science and nature viewers,” said Anthony DiClemente, an analyst with Barclays Capital. “But there’s a lot of competition out there for women and kids. We’re still waiting to see if this is a successful strategy.”

 
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