Discovery Communications has purchased an undisclosed stake in DogTV, a 24-hour cable television network aimed at canine viewers that launched last summer on DirecTV. The stake is meant to allow Discovery to develop new programming for its beleaguered wildlife network Animal Planet, as well as for DogTV.
"The loving relationship between owners and their pets are extremely important to Animal Planet and our programming reflects and supports that unique relationship," said Rick Holzman, executive vice president of programming and strategy at Animal Planet. "We love dogs and celebrate our special bond with them... we are always interested in expanding our audiences -- human and canine -- and developing innovative programming."
Some of Animal Planet's "innovative programming" has made headlines in recent months following allegations of extensive animal abuse on set, prompting an investigation as well as the cancellation of one of the channel's programs in Canada. As for DogTV, the channel currently specializes in three- to six-minute-long video clips meant to "relax," "stimulate," or "expose" dogs with a variety of different on-screen stimuli. According to PTV, the company that owns the network, all of its programs were produced in consultation with canine experts.