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Discovery Channel (known as The Discovery Channel from 1985 to 1995, and often referred to as simply Discovery) is an American basic cable and satellite television channel (which is also delivered via IPTV, terrestrial television and internet television in other parts of the world) that is the flagship television property of Discovery Inc., a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav. As of June 2012, Discovery Channel is the third most widely distributed cable channel in the United States, behind TBS and The Weather Channel; it is available in 409 million households worldwide, through its U.S. flagship channel and its various owned or licensed television channels internationally.
It initially provided documentary television programming focused primarily on popular science, technology, and history, but by the 2010s had expanded into reality television and pseudo-scientific entertainment. Programming on the flagship Discovery Channel in the U.S. is primarily focused on reality television series, such as speculative investigation (with shows such as MythBusters, Unsolved History, and Best Evidence), automobiles, and occupations (such as Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch); it also features documentaries specifically aimed at families and younger audiences.
A popular annual feature on the channel is Shark Week, which airs on Discovery during the summer months. Despite its popularity and success, the program has garnered criticism, especially from the scientific community, for being scientifically inaccurate.
As of January 2016, Discovery Channel is available to approximately 94,456,000 pay television households in the United States