As of today, National Geographic is changing its schedule to focus strongly on Africa, with a newly created English feed for the continent.
“The new feed will serve Africa much better. We’ll be able to better manage seasonality, Africa related content, time zones and even our programming specials, that viewers have been accustomed to, over the years,” says National Geographic Channel general manager, Alessandro Tucci.
Tucci says the channel has also been refreshed with a new graphic package, as well as a design upgrade, which is part of a global channel relaunch.
Another important element is that programme start times, which will also be altered from the top of the hour/half past the hour. Shows will now begin 10 minutes before the hour.
Tucci believes this would have a great impact on the lucrative prime time slot that would be structured to consider earlier times for Africa (prime time commences at 7pm as opposed to 9pm in Europe).
“There will now be a better method to create Africa specific scheduling windows and the choice to consider Africa seasonality,” he said. “In the long-term, it would allow the channel the power to schedule with Africa ratings in mind.”
There is a strong new slate of programming coming in with the introduction of more character driven series and series with longer run durations. New shows aim to bring a National Geographic eye to such varied topics as how tourists get scammed in the new show Scam City through to peering into the psyche of people who are preparing for the end of the world in Doomsday Preppers.
National Geographic is on channel 260 on DStv.