“Obviously, they’re kind of a DVR-buster,” O’Neill said. “This compels you to be in a certain viewing position at a certain time.” That’s reflected in Discovery’s promotional approach to the Everest jump, as viewers will be asked, “Where will you be?”
Wallenda’s walk and the Everest jump will be televised on Discovery channels around the world, not just in the United States, she said.
Both the Everest jump and “Survival Live” will present challenges new to the network, if not TV itself. For one thing, Discovery cannot precisely schedule in advance when Ogwyn will make his jump, or even know for certain whether he can.
He’s climbed Everest twice, although that doesn’t necessarily guarantee he’ll make it a third time. Weather conditions limit Everest climbs to about a month each spring, and can delay or scuttle attempts even within that window of opportunity. Discovery is aiming for around May 11, and O’Neill estimated that organizers will have a 75 percent chance of being able to pinpoint a jump time five days in advance.
In the days leading up to the attempted jump, Discovery will air live shows beginning at midnight Eastern reporting on preparations by Ogwyn’s team.
Discovery has shown programs in the “Survival” genre before, but never in real time as it is planning this fall. During the event, Discovery will have one live show a week and another taped one summing up the week’s competition. Fans will be able to follow how their favorite competitors are doing online at all times.
Discovery hasn’t named the competitors yet, or said where they will be sent.