Discovery Channel Buys Revision3, Enters WebTV Fray

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After a couple of days when rumors began to circulate that the Discovery Channel was in talks to purchase Revision3, an internet-only television network and distributor of original content, the two media companies apparently shook hands today and finalized the deal.

According to AllThingsD, the official price tag on the purchase hasn't been disclosed by Discovery but "sources familiar with the transaction" are saying it was in the ballpark of $30 million. All 50 employees of Revision3 will stay on as the plan appears to be that the online channel will continue to make its own web shows out of its studio in San Francisco. Given that Revision3 already has a built-in culture of online celebrities, Discovery said in a statement that Revision3's "content aligns with many of Discovery's top linear program genres, such as tech, cooking, and popular science." It remains to be seen, however, if Discovery will retain Revision3's non-video content, like podcasts.

Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback said he thought joining the Discovery Channel family was a natural fit. “Revision3 has always focused on creating compelling programs featuring authentic hosts that sit at the center of engaged and targeted communities,” Louderback said. “We couldn’t imagine a more appropriate company to team up with to develop the future of original web-based video.”

Last year, WPN's Abby Johnson spoke with Louderback where he talked about the evolution of online video. Incidentally, he happened to mention how YouTube's plan to introduce 100 original channels of content would raise the perceived value among advertisers. It so happens that YouTube made it's official pitch to advertisers last night with a celebrity-loaded debut of it's new marketing tool, Brandcast. Today's deal with Discovery appears to have validated Louderback's prediction, with cherries on top.

Over on Revision3's official Twitter account, the camp seemed pretty pleased with how things worked out.

Thanks so much for the warm welcome, we couldn't be more excited! RT @DiscoveryComm: Welcome to the family, @Revision3! 1 hour ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Louderback himself confirmed on his own account that, yes, Revision3's not pulling up the stakes just yet.

@giannii yeah, we're not going anywhere.. San Francisco arm of Discovery Comm now.. 14 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

This is a peculiar twist of events because as of late it seemed like it was only big internet companies making moves into the television broadcasting territory, what with things like Google TV, YouTube's BrandCast, and Apple TV. Discovery's acquisition of Revision3 now shows that the cross-over can happen in the other direction, too, and serves as a decent indicator that original programming for the internet isn't necessarily a harbinger of doom for cable television but, rather, proof that television as we know is it simply evolving.