Today's announcement was made by Rich Battista, president, Fox National Cable Networks; John Fahey, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society; and David Haslingden, CEO National Geographic Channels Worldwide and Fox International Channels.
Scheduled to launch in the United States in spring 2010, Nat Geo Wild will be available in both standard and high-definition live feeds and video on demand to all distributors. As part of the launch, FCN will be offering distributors the opportunity to transition carriage of Fox Reality Channel's nearly 50 million subscribers to Nat Geo Wild.
Nat Geo Wild is the fastest growing channel of the National Geographic portfolio networks, with launches in France, Germany, Australia and Latin America in the past year. It also is the first to move from overseas into the U.S. market and the first to be programmed globally by a single executive. Geoff Daniels, senior vice president of Development & Production for National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) for four years, has been named executive in charge of programming for Nat Geo Wild, dually reporting to executive vice presidents of content for NGC and NGCI, Steve Burns and Sydney Suissa, respectively. Nat Geo Wild will be managed in the United States by Steve Schiffman, general manager.
"Nat Geo Wild first launched over three years ago and has been extremely successful in Europe and Asia as natural history resonates across a wide range of demographics, cultures and nationalities," explained Haslingden. "Technological developments, especially high definition, have allowed us to tell fantastic stories of our natural world in more compelling and engaging ways than ever before. I'm delighted the channel is coming to America and enormously optimistic about its growth here and around the world."
"National Geographic is dedicated to inspiring people to care about the planet by presenting the most compelling and visually dynamic science, exploration and history across all our media platforms," said Fahey. "Wildlife programming is core to our brand and with the urgent conservation challenges facing wildlife, this is the right time for us to focus on what is a favorite genre for many."
National Geographic Channel will continue to differentiate itself with a rich tapestry of adventure, exploration, culture and science programming, including a select number of natural history specials, while Nat Geo Wild will dedicate its platform solely to wildlife programming with a mix of series and blue chip specials. Nat Geo Wild will maintain the same tradition of quality as NGC -- which received the most Emmy(R) nominations for excellence in News and Documentary of any single cable network during the past two years, as well as the highest score for quality among all cable networks in a recent prestigious survey of more than 25,000 U.S. consumers (2009 Harris Interactive EquiTrend(R) Study).
Nat Geo Wild's schedule is still being finalized, but premiere programs include:
- Africa's Lost Eden: Captures the largest relocation effort ever attempted of hundreds of zebra, wildebeest, impala, buffalo and hippos.
- Casey Anderson Programs: A multipart action-packed look at North America's mightiest carnivores with naturalist Casey Anderson and his best friend Brutus, a 400-pound grizzly bear.
- Rebel Monkeys: Romps with the intelligent and mischievous monkeys in the streets of Jaipur, India, where they have been given free rein.
- Mystery Gorilla: National Geographic Emerging Explorer, primatologist and conservationist Mireya Mayor explores the secret lives of great apes, and new behavior, such as the use of tools, that is rewriting the natural history of this species.
- National Geographic's Wildest Moments: Heart-pounding footage of wildlife's most bizarre moments, from a giraffe's violent outburst to a zebra bullying a leopard.