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[10/16/09 - 06:01 AM]
Lions, Tigers and Bears Are Just the Beginning with Spring 2010 Launch of New Cable Network Nat Geo Wild
The new network will take over for Fox Cable Networks' Fox Reality Channel.

[via press release from National Geographic Channel]

Lions, Tigers and Bears are Just the Beginning with Spring 2010 Launch of New Cable Network Nat Geo Wild

Channel to Exclusively Feature Extraordinary Natural History Programming

WASHINGTON and LOS ANGELES, Oct. 16 -- Fox Cable Networks (FCN), National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and National Geographic Channel U.S. (NGC) today announced the upcoming launch of Nat Geo Wild, a new cable network dedicated to bringing audiences extraordinary natural history programming -- offering intimate encounters with nature's ferocious fighters and gentle creatures of land, sea and air. Like National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild will be a joint venture between NGV and FCN.

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.

"The domestic launch of Nat Geo Wild is another step in the strategic evolution of our national cable channels," said Battista. "We continually look to develop content extensions for our diverse portfolio of networks, and National Geographic is one of the world's iconic brands -- offering a slate of exceptional shows that can be enjoyed by the entire family."

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.

A Nat Geo Wild Web site and video-on-demand offerings are also planned, with details to be announced in the coming months.

NAT GEO WILD:

Experience the best, most intimate encounters with wildlife ever seen on television. Backed by its unparallel reputation and blue chip programming, Nat Geo Wild brings viewers documentaries entirely focused on the animal kingdom and the world it inhabits. From the most remote environments, to the forbidding depths of our oceans, to the protected parks in our backyards, Nat Geo Wild uses spectacular cinematography and intimate storytelling to take viewers on unforgettable journeys into the wild world. Nat Geo Wild launched in August 2006 and is now available in Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, France, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and other territories in Europe. Nat Geo Wild HD launched in the U.K. in March 2009 and is also available in Poland. Additional launches are expected globally.

FOX CABLE NETWORKS:

Fox Cable Networks (FCN) includes 36 domestic programming services in which News Corporation holds interests. Together these networks reach more than 550 million subscribing television homes and represent one of the media industry's largest and most diverse programming groups. Fox Cable Networks span FX, National Geographic Channel, Fox Reality Channel, Fox Movie Channel, Fuel TV, FSN and 19 regional cable sports networks, SPEED, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox College Sports, Fox Sports en Espanol and the Big Ten Network (co-venture with the Big Ten Conference). FCN also includes Fox Sports Enterprises, which manages interests in sports franchises and leading statistical information provider STATS, LLC.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL:

Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel (NGC) is a joint venture between National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and Fox Cable Networks (FCN). Since launching in January 2001, NGC initially earned some of the fastest distribution growth in the history of cable and more recently the fastest ratings growth in television. The network celebrated its fifth anniversary January 2006 with the launch of NGC HD which provides the spectacular imagery that National Geographic is known for in stunning high definition. NGC has carriage with all of the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available in nearly 70 million homes. For more information, please visit www.natgeotv.com.





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