21st Century Fox is launching a National Geographic video-on-demand service in a handful of countries across Europe and Africa in 2018.
Fox did not give a specific launch date or provide details about how much the service will cost. Through deals with mobile operator Cell C, YouSee and the OTE Group, National Geographic+ will launch next year in South Africa, Denmark and Greece. The company said more deals and countries will be announced soon.
National Geographic+ intends to be a “constantly evolving” by adding new topics on a monthly basis or in response to world events.
“Consumers are at the heart of our non-linear services; people are used to marathon viewing for scripted, but there hasn’t been a simple and effective way to offer similar experiences within Factual,” said Jan Koeppen, president of Fox Networks Group in Europe and Africa, in a statement. “At National Geographic, we are passionate about taking our viewers further, to encourage exploration and a better understanding of the world in which we all live. By introducing National Geographic+, we are combining our 129 years of visual storytelling with our rich history of product innovation to ensure that factual stands out in the on-demand world.”
The name National Geographic+ is reminiscent of FX+, the ad-free version of FX, which is also owned by Fox, launched earlier this year.
“We have been diligent about recapturing the in-season stacking rights for all current original programming and recapturing the rights to all seasons of a large portion of our legacy of great original series,” said John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions, in a statement. “Since changing the course of basic cable TV with 'The Shield,' over the past 15 years FX amassed a roster of dramas, comedies and limited series that is unequalled in ad-supported television—and in quality and breadth has few rivals anywhere. This initiative represents the first of its kind for an ad-supported cable network, and begins to put us on equal footing with premium networks and streaming services. We appreciate our partnership with Matt Strauss and everyone at Comcast who had the vision to support the creation and launch of FX+, which adds significant value for Comcast and its subscribers.”