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Are You Ready for “Eco-tainment?”

Just what America demands: a 24-hour cable channel dedicated to green living:

On Wednesday, Discovery will introduce Planet Green, a new cable brand promoted as the first 24-hour channel dedicated to eco-friendly living. It is the highest-profile cable channel introduction of the year, and an equally risky one. By wrapping itself in the planet, Discovery is betting that “eco-tainment” will appeal to viewers.
Planet Green will replace the Discovery Home Channel in more than 50 million homes. Eyeing the public’s increased interest in environmental issues, Discovery is confident that it can attract more viewers with green-themed programming.

Green types may not be excited about the business end of the channel:

But some of Planet Green’s advertisers could raise eyebrows. General Motors, maker of the Hummer, is the “exclusive automobile sponsor” of the channel, Discovery announced last month. G.M.’s Chevrolet brand is a “premier sponsor” of “Greensburg,” a documentary series about a tornado-damaged town that is rebuilding with an eye to the environment. As part of the deal, G.M. vehicles will be integrated into some programs, and Discovery will produce short-form videos about the company.

What’s next? An Exxon-sponsored documentary of the remarkable recovery in Prince William Sound after the Valdez disaster?


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