As part of A&E Television Networks (AETN), The History Channel (THC) is set to launch in Germany on November 15. THC will be carried on Kabel Deutschland through Kabel Digital HOME, its new digital package. Kabel Deutschland expects to have 250,000 digital subscribers by the end of 2004.
The primary source of programming for thc Germany will be original product from THC’s catalog, says Steve Ronson, senior VP, Enterprises, AETN. This includes such programming as Biography and Modern Marvels. Over time, more original programming for the German channel will be created and produced, says Ronson, adding that local programming will be 25% of the sked at launch.
AETN also has an agreement in place with Mainz-based ZDF Enterprises, who will be supplying THC with German programming, such as the series Terra X and Die Grosse Freiheit. New York-based Michael Katz, VP of programming and production at AETN International, is putting the new channel’s schedule together with the local team in Germany.
Seizing the same opportunity to enter the German marketplace is National Geographic Channel, which will also be carried on the Kabel Digital HOME service as of November 1. ‘Audience research shows that documentary programming is clearly among the most sought-after thematic genres that Germans would like to have more access to,’ says National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) CEO David Haslingden.
As will THC, NGC in Germany will be broadcast 24 hours a day. NGC in Germany will feature science and technology, investigation, wildlife, history and adventure travel programming. Producers are invited to submit programming ideas at www.NGCIdeas.com.