What Channel is Discovery on DirecTV? (2023 Update)

tech companies in Maryland

What Channel is Discovery on DirecTV? (2023 Update)

Discovery is the home to many popular reality TV shows and, of course, Shark Week. DirecTV subscribers will be happy to know that they can watch Discovery no matter what package they have. Most viewers remember Discovery as the home of hit shows like American Chopper, MythBusters, and Dirty Jobs, which all helped shape the reality TV landscape that we have today.

Despite most of its fact-based content moving over to the Science Channel, there is still a lot to watch on Discovery. Today, you will find a lot of dramatized reality shows that center around topics like gold mining and street racing.

If you’ve been stuck scrolling through the channels on DirecTV trying to find Discovery, stop what you are doing and keep reading to find out what channel it is on.

Different Discovery Channels

Discovery is part of a large network of TV channels under Warner Brothers Discovery. This company came from AT&T’s sale of Warner Brothers to Discovery, which added all of Warner’s channels to the Discovery Entertainment umbrella. Besides well-known channels like HGTV, TLC, Animal Planet, and Food Network, there are multiple Discovery branded channels.

The Discovery Channel launched in 1985 as a privately owned company. In 1996, it added Discovery Family, then known as Discovery Kids Channel. The channel continued the mission of The Discovery Channel but with a focus on age-appropriate content for kids. Around this time, Discovery added a number of other networks that later shut down or dropped the Discovery branding.

More recently, Discovery launched Discovery Fit & Health in 2011 as a merger of FitTV and Discovery Health. Discovery rebranded the network as Discovery Life in 2015 and now airs programs about health topics. Both Discovery Family and Discovery Life are available on DirectTV, but they are only available in the Ultimate and Premier package.

DirecTV Discovery Channel Guide

Unlike cable TV, DirecTV channels are the same across the entire country. This means Discovery broadcasts on the same channel number in New York as it does in California. This makes it incredibly easy to find a channel.

No matter where you are, Discovery is on channel 278 on DirecTV.

Check the chart below for a full list of Discovery channel numbers.

Channel NameChannel Number
Discovery Family294
Discovery Life261

What is Discovery?

The Discovery Channel started back in 1985 under the ownership of John Hendricks, who later started Curiosity Stream. But the content aired today on Discovery is far from Hendricks’s original intention. The station originally centered around scientific and educational programming, including wildlife documentaries.

However, the channel made a drastic shift in programming in the early 2000s as it began airing reality shows such as American Chopper and Dirty Jobs. This mimics the shift that many other channels like MTV also went through. But things continued to shift away from science in the following decades, as Discovery changed ownership numerous times and leaned heavily into automotive and speculative investigation.

How Do I Get Discovery Channel on DirecTV?

Discovery is one of the most broadcasted TV channels in America, behind only TBS and The Weather Channel.

The good news for DirecTV subscribers is that all of their packages come with Discovery. This includes DirecTV’s streaming subscriptions. With a DirecTV subscription, you also get access to DiscoveryGo, which lets you watch nearly all Discovery shows on any device.

Plan NameIncluded ChannelsPrice Per Month

Stream Discovery With DirecTV

Besides watching Discovery on your TV, you can also use your DirecTV subscription to unlock streaming with Discovery Go. This included streaming platform is available on most app stores, including Apple and Google Play. You can also access Discovery Go in a web browser here. Once on the Discovery Go website or app, you must log in with your DirecTV credentials.

This means you must have your DirecTV username and password ready. After signing in, you can access most Discovery content, including older shows that are no longer played on TV. Unfortunately, Discovery Go does play occasional ads. Fortunately, new shows are available soon after airing on TV.

Keep in mind that Discovery Go is a different app than Discovery Plus, which is a separate paid subscription service.

Discovery Plus discovery+ mobile app streaming
Discovery+ is a paid subscription service for streaming reality TV, nature documentaries, cooking shows, and true-crime series.


Top Discovery Channel Programming

Discovery broadcasts three main types of programming, including new TV shows, documentaries, and syndicated TV shows. New shows air weekly, with much of the daytime programming being taken up by reruns of old shows.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular content that airs on Discovery.

TV Shows

Starting with new shows, Discovery is dominated by Street Outlaws and Gold Rush. Both of these brands have a number of spinoff shows that make up much of Discovery’s content library. Street Outlaws focuses on drag racers in various parts of the U.S. as they go head-to-head. Gold Rush follows miners battling freezing temperatures to extract gold in remote environments.

A survival show called Naked and Afraid centers around two survivalists who must endure harsh elements by using their instincts. Discovery’s supernatural show, Ghost Adventures, tries to find evidence of the undead. Finally, Expedition Unknown became very popular in recent years and is likely the only show that remotely follows the channel’s original premise as host Josh Gates digs for truth in urban legends.


On special occasions, Discovery will air a documentary. These can vary in quality from highly regarded, like the miniseries Harley and the Davidsons, to downright bad, with inaccuracies and conspiracy theories. However, the most popular documentaries on Discovery come on during Shark Week, which is an entire week filled with shark-related content.


To give viewers a break from its current slate of offerings, Discovery often airs reruns of classic shows during the day. The lineup occasionally changes but often features a mix of Fast N’ Loud, MythBusters, and Moonshiners. For many years, Airplane Repo came on weekdays, but that has since changed, with MythBusters taking over most of the early time slots.

Evenings and weekends are often filled with reruns of currently running TV shows. However, Discovery sometimes sprinkles in some older content, especially at night. Other syndicated shows include Fired Up Garage, Diesel Brothers, and Alaskan Bush People.

Late at night and early in the morning are particularly good times to find old favorites.

Wrapping Up

Despite a steady change in content over the years, Discovery remains one of the most popular TV channels. Whether you want to learn about faraway lands, how to work on a car, or dig for gold, Discovery has you covered.

Those looking for more scientific content should check out Science Channel, which is also available on DirecTV.

What Channel is Discovery on DirecTV? (2023 Update) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do you get Discovery Plus for free with DirecTV?

No, Discovery Plus is a paid subscription service that is completely separate from your DirecTV subscription. However, you can use Discovery Go with a DirecTV subscription, or watch online with a DirecTV STREAM subscription.

Did Discovery cancel Gold Rush?

No, Discovery recently released a teaser trailer for season 14 of Gold Rush. There were a number of personal changes over the years, but Rick Ness, Parker Schnabel, and Tony Beets return for the new season.

Is Discovery available on all cable and satellite platforms?

Discovery is one of the most widely available TV channels available. Although the vast majority of cable and satellite platforms carry the channel, a few companies have basic packages that exclude it.

What is the difference between DirecTV's streaming and satellite options?

DirecTV puts a heavy emphasis on its streaming options, which offer comparable TV channels as its conventional satellite subscriptions. The main difference is that streaming requires you to have an internet subscription, while satellite uses a dish in your yard to pick up a signal.

How can you sign up for DirecTV?

The easiest way to sign up for DirecTV is through the company’s website in a pressure-free environment. Alternatively, you can call DirecTV or visit an AT&T store to get more details and sign up for DirecTV.

To top