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Fox International Channels to launch regional feeds for Nat Geo Wild in India

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | February 16, 2011
National Geographic's core channel, currently available in Hindi, Telugu and Bengali in India, and Nat Geo Wild, will now expand its regional base in the country.

Fox International Channels (FIC), which operates and runs the National Geographic (Nat Geo) channels - National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Music, Nat Geo Adventure, and National Geographic HD in India -- plans to launch Nat Geo Wild in Indian regional languages.

The network also plans to launch its core channel, which at present is already available in Hindi, Telugu, Bengali and English, in more regional languages.

Speaking to afaqs! Janet Han Vissering, senior vice-president, development, Nat Geo Wild and National Geographic Channels International (NGCI), says, "Our one area of concentration will be Nat Geo Wild. Last year, we launched the channel in the US, and in Malaysia. The response for the channel has been phenomenon. In the US, the channel is available in English, and in Malaysia, the channel is available in Bahasa Malaysia as the default language. It is also available in the two optional languages of English and Mandarin."

For, Vissering, localisation is an important aspect for the channel, and will play a big part in taking the channel ahead in the future. At present, Nat Geo Wild is available in 17 languages, across 38 territories, globally.

In a year, the channel telecasts 120 hours of exclusive programmes across the world. These programmes are either commissioned, co- produced or acquired from studios around the globe. Says Vissering, "We commission and produce programmes for the channel from across the globe. We also have shows on India and its wildlife. We work with hundreds of producers across the world, including India. And, we have an idea submission website - NGCideas.com, as well, where people can submit interesting ideas, which later get picked up by the content team."

In addition to launching regional language feeds in India, FIC is also looking at increasing its presence globally by tapping those markets where it doesn't have a presence yet. "We would like to maximise our reach by entering markets like Japan where we are not present," Vissering adds.

Vissering is of the opinion that Net Geo Wild serves two purposes. It not only talks about wildlife, but also conveys a message to its audiences about conservation and the urgent need to protect endangered species.

The channel will soon start work on its next programme, which will focus on India and its wildlife. The three-part series Wild India, will be about the diversity and drama of India's varied habitats. Each episode will focus on one specific and iconic ecosystem, providing a snapshot of how life works in a particular environment.

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