Press release

Date Published

Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav announced the launch today of the company’s newest global social activation effort — a comprehensive worldwide initiative and campaign focused on species conservation tied to the upcoming debut of Discovery Channel’s landmark documentary RACING EXTINCTION.

In partnership with Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and the Oceanic Preservation Society, the RACING EXTINCTION campaign will launch this fall with new content, a dedicated digital platform, an education curriculum and calls to action that encourage consumers to pledge their commitment to do “1 thing” to save the planet and its creatures. Allen is a Co-Executive Producer of RACING EXTINCTION.

The Discovery Communications initiative also includes a partnership and media campaign with the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (USWTA.ORG) to bolster species survival; a series of six original experiences across DISCOVERY VR, the company’s virtual reality product, spotlighting the world’s endangered species and raising awareness about preservation and conservation efforts; and a global education initiative through Discovery Education, also produced in partnership with Vulcan.

“Discovery Communications is a purpose-driven company. We have a legacy rooted in exploring and supporting our planet, which continues with the premiere of RACING EXTINCTION and extends past it to the launch of this global campaign, empowering viewers to make a positive impact on the world,” said Zaslav. “This cause is core to Discovery’s DNA and with half of the world’s species headed toward extinction, we have a role to play in spreading the message of this groundbreaking documentary and a critical responsibility to act; and that is exactly what we are doing. We’re starting with one thing, and we hope our viewers will too.”

RACING EXTINCTION and #StartWith1Thing: Together, We Can Make Our World a Better Place

RACING EXTINCTION will be the catalyst for a larger, ongoing campaign utilizing the hashtag #StartWith1Thing to serve as Discovery’s call to action to create a global movement behind the television event.

To see a video on #StartWith1Thing, please go to:

#StartWith1Thing seeks to unite the world by pledging simple lifestyle changes that can add up to big benefits for endangered species, the environment and humanity itself. Discovery will leverage its global premiere and additional platforms, including custom branded content, digital, social media, virtual reality and Discovery Education, along with its partners to ignite curiosity and global actions people can take in four areas: fighting wildlife trafficking, reducing carbon emissions through use of green energy/transport, supporting green causes, and eating less meat.

The campaign will aggregate individual actions to demonstrate the impact that occurs when people unite as a global community. Consumers are encouraged to find inspiration for their “1 thing” by visiting the “#StartWith1Thing” section on Consumers can choose a variety of “1 things” daily, weekly and monthly, and track progress along with the world via social media.

Partnership and Media Campaign with U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance to Bolster Species Survival by Curbing Wildlife Crime

Discovery Communications has joined the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, a coalition of non-profit organizations and companies working with the U.S. government to support species survival by reducing the purchase and sale of illegal wildlife and wildlife products. Discovery will leverage the power of its global reach to inform and inspire viewers through a multi-platform media campaign to stop the demand for endangered wildlife products and support those companies stepping up to implement strong corporate policies and best practices to help stop the supply of illegal wildlife products and materials.

The campaign will include the creation and cross-platform distribution of public service announcements raising awareness and driving consumers to learn about wildlife-friendly and sustainably sourced products. Future elements of the campaign will include PSAs focused on recognizing companies that have committed to changing their manufacturing and business practices to stem the illegal wildlife trade and encouraging their peers to do the same. In support of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service, like-minded companies and foundations, and with critical support from more than a dozen non-profit conservation and wildlife education and advocacy NGOs, Discovery is committed to confronting the wildlife trafficking crisis.

Immersive, Exclusive Virtual Reality Experiences Shine a Light on the World’s Endangered Species

Combining the immersive power of virtual reality with Discovery’s 30-year history of engaging and exceptional content, DISCOVERY VR, the company’s virtual reality product, will debut six original experiences focused on some of the world’s most majestic animals in VR comprising species of endangered or vulnerable elephants, rhinos, lions, whale sharks, manta rays and giraffes. This virtual reality content will be showcased at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015. 

Teaching Students How They Can Make a Difference

The initiative also will be amplified through the company’s Discovery Education division, the leading provider of standards-aligned digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In partnership with Vulcan, Discovery Education will develop standards-based digital content, teacher resources and immersive interactive experiences.

In addition, Discovery Education is providing a Virtual Field Trip today that will introduce students to the scientists, educators and young people making a difference in addressing these important issues.  Students and educators from around the globe can join the live Virtual Field Trip today at 1:00 PM EST or watch the archive at any time after the live event.


Directed by Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyos (THE COVE), RACING EXTINCTION chronicles the plight of the world’s most endangered species. In the next 100 years, the world could lose 50% of all species. In the last 100 years, 90% of the cheetah population and 97% of the world’s tigers have disappeared. In the decades ahead, sea turtles, leopards, rhinos and orangutans are among the many species facing extinction. Psihoyos assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, RACING EXTINCTION reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world.

Discovery premieres RACING EXTINCTION in more than 220 markets on December 2.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 pay-TV programmer reaching 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. For 30 years Discovery has been satisfying curiosity and entertaining viewers with high-quality content through its global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including TestTube, Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit