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National Geographic Channel

The National Geographic Society began in 1888 when a group of scientists and explorers created a club to contribute to and disseminate knowledge about geography, culture and natural science. The society published its first magazine in October 1888 as a tax-exempt benefit for its members. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., National Geographic is one of the largest not-for-profit societies in the world. The society publishes several magazines, presents features films, television specials and documentaries and airs more than 30 television series on its own channels. In 1995, National Geographic Television became a separate company.

History of the National Geographic Channel

The National Geographic Channel, also known as Nat Geo Channel,, was launched in September 1997 in Australia, Europe and the United Kingdom. The following year National Geographic Channel Asia was launched in cooperation with Star TV. In the United States the channel was launched in 2001. By 2012 Nat Geo Channel reached 172 countries with more than 430 million subscribers. In the U.S. the channel is jointly managed by Fox Cable Networks and National Geographic Film and Television.

Other channels launched by National Geographic aired throughout the world include National Geographic Channel HD, Nat Geo Adventure and Nat Geo Junior. Nat Geo Music, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Wild HD are sister channels.

Nat Geo Music,, presents music and music videos that feature lyrics and beats from artists who represent both new and traditional music genres from around the world. Nat Geo Music initially aired in Italy in 2007 and is available in five languages in Latin America, Indonesia, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and the Middle East.

Nat Geo Wild,, first aired in Hong Kong in 2006 with programming that focused on wild life and natural history. It was launched in 2007 in Europe, Britain, Israel and South Africa. Programming began in 2009 in Australia, India, Latin America and Romania, in 2010 the United States and in 2012 in Canada. Nat Geo Wild is broadcast in 40 countries and 17 languages worldwide.

Programs aired on Nat Geo Wild include “Built for the Kill,” “Dog Whisperer,” “Ultimate Animal Countdown,” “Dangerous Encounters,” “Sharkmen 3” and “Animal Superpowers.”

Nat Geo Adventure,, launched in 1999, is available in 40 countries around the world including Africa, Australia, India, Israel, several places in Asia and the Middle East. Programming includes travel, adventure and exploration.

Channel Formats and Availability

giraffes with a sunsetThe National Geographic Channel is available in the U. S. in several formats including satellite, cable and Internet protocol television (IPTV). Satellite channels include:

• DirectTV Channels 276 in both standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD)
formats, Channel 1276 as video on demand (VOD)
• Dish Network Channel 186 in SD and HD formats, 5518 and 9429 in HD format
• DSTV Channel 260
• DishHD Channel 6190

Cable channels include Verison FiOS Channels 121 in SD and Channel 621 as HD.

In IPTV format, AT&T U-verse is on Channel 265 in SD and Channel 1265 in HD.

Nat Geo Channel International (NGCI) airs programming in more than 170 countries around the world in 37 languages. The international venture is jointly owned by National Geographic Ventures and FOX Entertainment Group. In Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America the channels are available through several carriers by satellite and cable in SD and HD formats and through IPTV systems.

Nat Geo Wild is available internationally by satellite, on cable and in SD, HD and IPTV formats.

National Geographic Channel Television Shows

More than 30 series are broadcast daily or weekly with themes that include animals and nature, people and places, exploration and adventure, science and technology, history and events, and world cultures. Specials are also offered monthly and occasionally throughout the year. Regular shows include “Alaska State Trooper,” “American Colony: Meet the Hutterites,” “Border Wars,” “Brain Games,”“Diggers,” “Doomsday Preppers,” “Explorer,” “Fight Science,” “Hell on the Highway,” “Locked Up Abroad,” “Taboo,” “Wicked Tuna,” and “Unlikely Animal Friends.”

“Explorer” was initially aired as a Nickelodeon documentary series in 1985. In its more than 25 years on television, “Explorer” has aired more than 230 episodes and has earned a multitude of awards including 52 Emmys. It is the longest-running cable television documentary series.

“Taboo,” a documentary series that started in 2002, features unusual rituals and practices in societies throughout the world ranging from voodoo to foods.

“Doomsday Preppers,” one of the most-watched series, is a reality show that features people who are preparing for the worst including war, natural resource shortages, natural disasters and social disintegration. It initially aired in February, 2012.