Op-ed: Why Discovery Family seems to hate you and themselves. by

By TheOtakuX


Editors Note: TheOtakuX is a 'Geek Culture' blogger and comments on a variety of topics with a focus in Anime and My Little Pony. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
TheOtakuX

So the latest news is that Discovery Family has shot themselves in the foot again. First they delayed season 5 by about 6 months. Then they refused to make new advertisements for it. Then, when we all thought they'd run out of feet to shoot, they split season 5 in half, giving us another mini-hiatus that will inevitably lead to more drama and the fandom going at each others' throats once again. But what we half to ask ourselves is. Why?

I think the simplest reason is, they don't care about the adult fans. The Hub was run more by Hasbro than by Discovery Networks. Hasbro has long been involved with adult fans through Transformers and G.I.Joe. They know the value of catering to the basement dwellers and their precious disposable income. But Discovery Networks has far less to gain from selling pastel plastic ponies. They sell adspace. And adspace works best on new episodes.

This may lead you to ask "Well, then, why delay the episodes?" Well, remember, since they don't target US, they target CHILDREN, who watch a lot more than just ponies on the network. Basically, as long as at least ONE show is showing new episodes every weekend, they can sell more lucrative first-run adspace. Why air new episodes of Strawberry Shortcake, The Jungle Book, AND My Little Pony all at once, when you can just put MLP on a little break and start it up when the other shows run out of new episodes?

And this isn't the first show they've done this with. While it's mid-season hiatus began on The Hub, the wheels were already in motion for the change. Littlest Pet Shop's third season abruptly stopped following it's 13th episode, only to restart about three months later. I'm sorry to say, but we may be looking at this happening more often in upcoming seasons. At this rate, season 6 may be ending just in time for the 2017 feature film, rather than earlier estimates of season 7 wrapping up in anticipation of it.

Which leads me to another point. The Equestria Girls movies aren't much more than 3-part episodes in terms of runtime and, likely, budget. But the 2017 film will likely pull more resources. It's possible they're stretching out season five, and later season six, in order to put more effort into that film, while still giving us content throughout the year. They could simply be spreading two seasons thin to allow them to air in the timeframe normally given to three seasons. This would prevent a drop in quality as focus is moved to the movie, as instead of having to produce two seasons during it's production, they'd only have to produce one. Unfortunate, yes, but preferable to a drop in quality.

Comments (24)

  1. Nice one. OtakuX, Jim, how do you get to do OP-Ed pieces on HN? What criteria/experience do you need for capper to approve you?

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    1. Send it in via the "Submit an Article!" button along the sidebar, and I, along with a highly qualified team of editorial staff, will review your submission and determine whether or not to put it up on the site.

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  2. Discovery Family has to be one of the worst things that has happened to the show. We barely get previews about the new episode, we are no longer are able to watch it online the Monday after the episode airing, and ratings have gone to shit compared to last season. Hasbro really needs to step there foot down or find a new network.

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    1. I'm one of those pansies whom prefers my ponies legal, so its kinda annoying to not have a legit means of viewing the episode through streaming.

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  3. Seeing as we only got animatics of the final episodes, the season isn't even finished yet, so maybe they just increased the production time?

    Weren't some people saying that ratings could be low because of the season starting at a different time of the year? When the second half starts in the usual time, I guess we'll see how that goes.

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    1. They could have just shown animatics because they didn't WANT to show the actual finished footage. It's possible they episodes are finished and they just didn't want to show too much by using the finished clips.

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    2. What Anon 2 said - They show animatics deliberately to leave something still to look forward to when the episode airs, even if animation is finished.

      For one thing, final background music usually isn't completed by Will Anderson until about a month before the episode airs on TV. If you're going to show a preview without music, might as well "dumb down" the other stuff, too. Animatics work just fine for this level/stage of previewing.

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  4. You're just now figuring out that Discovery Family is a business and their goal is to make money rather than pander to a bunch of adult cartoon fanboys? They have their reasons for what they do, and it doesn't revolve around us. It never did.

    I think the Hub did a lot better at advertising itself and getting people excited for its content, but to act as though our desires should feature prominently in their minds is rather backward thinking. You are making way too big a thing of this mini-hiatus.

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    1. Except the Hub managed to do both, so why can't Discovery?

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    2. Because The Hub was run by Hasbro, who unlike Discovery Networks, put more stock in adult fans because adult fans buy merchandise. Discovery Networks doesn't have a stake in the merchandise, so they aren't interested in catering to the adults.

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    3. And Hasbro can keep making merchandise for adults. Which we'll buy. We've proven that time and time again.

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  5. "I think the simplest reason is, they don't care about the adult fans." thank you for that spergtastic input otaku. next on brony weekly we'll discuss why lyra and bonbon don't have graphic sex on the show according to my fanfic and how that means hasbro hates us bronies because of sexism

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    1. The problem is some people DON'T get that. Especially since Hasbro and dhx seem to care about us. They don't go to some absurd level, but they DO target things at us sometimes.

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  6. Writing on the wall says that as the show gets less marketing towards the target demographic, the lower the numbers will go, the lower the numbers the less the ad space is worth, the less the ad space is worth the more favorable it will be to just shut the show down in favor of something else they also won't ever hype, and the whole network becomes a ghost town before closing shop in 2020, RIP Mr. Bones

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  7. So they're designing a strategy that keeps the show running for a while, while still offering decent content. Which is what we want. But Bronies are crying into their Applejack dakimakura because the network isn't pandering to them as much they'd like, and that's the real problem.

    Yeah, DF is just so horrible. God forbid they try to maximize revenue with new shows in order to keep the network running.

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  8. Yeah, I agree with you. I miss the hub, when Lauren Faust is the show runner in S1 since is launched in October 10, 2010.

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  9. I miss the hub. It was just so much more fun.

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  10. Hey, freak boy, threaten to kill yourself because someone isn't taking the sacred MLP canon seriously lately? Maybe purge your blog for the millionth time?

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    1. this is the kind of content I want to see: call-outs of sperglord tumblr bronies

      write an article asap

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    2. Hey, anon, misrepresent events and shift blame to something else to make a situation seem ridiculous, lately? Oh, wait, you just did.

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    3. seriously I wanna hear what the sperglord did

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  11. Sucks that Discovery thinks they are too cool for school and won't nerd it up with cool promos like the Katy Perry video and 8-Bit Ponies.

    The Hub like, understood us man!

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  13. No wider they're making us wait! Those jerks.

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