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Discovery Will Launch Streaming-Service Discovery+

Media company Discovery is joining the streaming-service fray with Discovery+, including a distribution deal with Verizon.
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Media company Discovery (DISCA) - Get Discovery, Inc. Class A Report on Jan. 4 is launching a streaming service, Discovery+, including a distribution deal with Verizon  (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report that will make the service immediately available to 50 million customers.

The Silver Spring, Md., company's service will feature 55,000 episodes from channels in the company's portfolio, including HGTV, Food Network and Animal Planet. 

"We have been working methodically the past two years to bring all of our strategic advantages to the launch of Discovery+, including distribution and advertising partnerships around the world, a world-class offering of quality brands, authentic personalities and the largest content library at launch, as well as a broad slate of exclusive programming," Chief Executive David Zaslav said in a statement. 

The service will be free for up to 12 months for new and existing Verizon customers, depending on their plans. 

Those who aren't eligible for the free trial can subscribe for $4.99 a month with ads or $6.99 per month without ads. 

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Streaming services have proliferated over the past 12 months from major media and entertainment companies: Disney's  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report Disney+, Apple's  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report Apple TV+, ViacomCBS's  (VIA) - Get Via Renewables, Inc. Class A Report CBS All Access, Comcast's  (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report Peacock, and AT&T's  (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report HBO Max.

They join major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime as well. And they've all attempted to take advantage of consumers' cord-cutting -- getting rid of traditional cable-TV in favor of streaming.

In launching the new service, Discovery touted programs from Hollywood mainstays like Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer and others. 

The service will feature the company's popular reality television shows like "The First 48," "Ice Road Truckers," 'Storage Wars" and "Ghost Hunters." 

"With Discovery+, we are seizing the global opportunity to be the world's definitive product for unscripted storytelling, providing households and mobile consumers a distinct, clear and differentiated offering across valuable and enduring lifestyle, and real-life verticals," Zaslav said. 

At last check, Discovery shares were up 0.6% at $27.83.