John Hendricks re-enters Discovery’s spotlight today with the launch of Cosmeo, a broadband educational service for families with children. Cosmeo (http://www.cosmeo.com) represents Hendricks’ 1st public initiative with Discovery since he launched one of cable’s earliest HD channels in ’02. "I didn’t step back from Discovery. I stepped sideways," he tells CableFAX. "My interest is where the company is going to be in 5-10 years." For Hendricks, Cosmeo represents the original educational vision of Discovery Channel. Described as the World Book Encyclopedia on steroids, it features 30K video clips, 20K digital photos and 150K research articles to help kids with their homework. The service costs $9.95/mo, or $99/yr during an introductory period; once that’s over it will run $12.95/mo, $129/yr. Hendricks anticipates a positive effect on Discovery’s bottom line almost immediately. "We’ve already made the investment," Hendricks said. "You can see the impact if we get 1mln subs. That’s $100mln in new incremental revenue for Discovery." Cosmeo complements Discovery’s unitedstreaming brand, which is used by 70K schools by classroom teachers. Cosmeo’s content conforms to individual state curriculum standards, which are monitored by in-house Discovery education experts. Most programming is unique to Cosmeo: only 15% comes from Discovery Nets. "We’re not re-packaging our content and cannibalizing our linear net," said a clearly energized Hendricks. "I haven’t been this excited in quite a while…this is as revolutionary for video as Apple was to music delivery."

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