Glocalization of Nonfiction entertainment media: Programming strategies of Discovery Communication Inc. in Taiwan


Herng Su, Shu-Wen Cheng


localization, glocalization, nonfiction entertainment, Discovery Channel, media conglomerate, television documentary


This article examines the global media’s institutional logic of programming for local audiences using Discovery Communications Inc. as an example. Global media expansion is connected to other trends such as the fragmentation of audiences, special genre for local market, lower cost and greater profit expectations. One of the genre fitting these new programming demands is so-called nonfiction entertainment. The authors analyze how Discovery Communications Inc. developed this genre in Taiwan and collaborated with local producers. Concluding, the authors highlight some new consequences of these findings for research in glocalization theory and media economy. One strategy of DCI in Taiwan’s market was to develop a variety of channels that are jointly promoted. Another strategy was to involve local producers to co-produce programs under one well-known brand name that could be easily sold. The types of cooperative projects have become more common in Taiwan, Discovery is careful not to dilute its quality brand by appearing overly commercialized.