News

Nat Geo Channel has U.S. debut…finally!

After promises throughout 2000 for a launch before the year's end, the National Geographic Channel managed to hit the U.S. airwaves a few days after the dawn of 2001.
January 17, 2001

The National Geographic Channel launched in the U.S. on January 7 to an estimated 10 million households. The premiere presentation was a one-hour program titled Heroes for the Planet – A Tribute to National Geographic. Opening night numbers were not available, according to VP of communications Russell Howard, who also claims the channel will not be rated during its first year. The tribute was simulcast on CNBC and re-broadcast later the same evening on Fox News Channel.

Andrew Wilk, executive VP of programming, production and news, says the U.S. National Geographic Channel will eventually differentiate from the international channels but not significantly in the short term. ‘We’re just a little bit younger in our evolution here. We have the brand-new riches of the Geographic archives, as well as the NGT programming that’s been produced under the former banner of PEG. So, we’ve got a bit of a honeymoon period that we’re very happy about.’

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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