Cable Operators

Nat Geo Hunts ‘Wild’ Sponsors

3/15/2010 12:10 PM Eastern

National Geographic
Channel says advertisers are just
wild about its new wild-animal
focused spinoff Nat Geo Wild, to
launch March 29.

But the National Geographic
Society and Fox Networks Groupowned
service — an adaptation of
an existing international Nat Geo
service — might still be searching
through the multichannel-distribution
jungle for U.S. carriage.

Nat Geo Wild has earmarked
the channel slot left by the
March 31 departure of the nearly
50 million-subscriber Fox Reality
Channel. During an upfront
presentation last week, though,
NGC executives would not predict
how many subscribers the
new network would have at
birth.

A Fox Cable spokesman said in
an e-mailed statement that the
company is working with all Fox
Reality Channel distributors to
“transition” that slot to Nat Geo
Wild.

“The response has been very
encouraging, and we expect to
officially announce our launch
partners in the coming weeks.
We remain confident that Wild
will be among the most impressive
launches of a new network
in the history of cable,” Fox Cable
said.

Advertisers are on board: Wild
has already sold out the first four
months of inventory, according to
Rich Goldfarb, NGC’s senior vice
president of media sales.

“It’s really been overwhelming,”
Goldfarb said. “It’s such a
nice place for an advertiser’s message
to be, from a content point
of view.”

New original shows Wild will
debut include Wild Nights With
Mireya Mayor
, about rarely seen
nocturnal wildlife; Dangerous Encounters
With Brady Barr
, about
fierce animal predators; and
Swamp Men, about an ecological
wildlife park director in a 2,200-
acre camp.

Like NGC, Wild will look to
build weekly franchise stunts,
starting later this year with Big
Cat Week
.

New shows coming to NGC
include Fish Warrior With
Jakub Vágner
, about the famed
angler’s unconventional methods;
Great Expeditions, seeking
answers to history’s intriguing
questions; Making History,
which digitally recreates major
historical events; Monster
Fish With Zeb Hogan
, about the
fish conservationist’s search for
endangered underwater creatures;
and Thom Beers-produced
Wild Justice, tracking
U.S. game wardens.

Returning series include The
Dog Whisperer, Alaska State
Troopers, Border Wars, Explorer,
Naked Science
and the Inside documentary
series, according to executive
vice president of content
Steve Burns.

rotator sticky: 
No
September