Fox Entertainment-backed JV company National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) has acquired full control of sales and distribution company National Geographic Television International (NGTI), buying out its parent company National Geographic Society.
The deal sees Fox buying further into the Nat Geo brand. As part of the deal, NGCI – which is a joint venture between National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and Fox Entertainment Group – has obtained global TV and certain digital rights to NGTI’s programming catalogue, representing more than 1,000 hours of programming. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
NGCI will also control broadcast, VoD, SVoD and related digital rights for all present inventory and future National Geographic Channel-produced programming, while NGV will continue to retain home entertainment, theatrical rights, short form video and other affiliated digital rights.
Following the takeover, NGTI will cease to exist as a company, as of October, with its resources being merged into NGCI. It is not known at present how many, if any, job losses this will lead to.
“Secondary windows of National Geographic programming on other platforms have been an important concern for our channel partners,” explained Hernan Lopez, president and CEO of Fox International Channels and NGCI.
“NGCI can now offer its operators full assurance of exclusivity while at the same time expanding our resources to increase the overall programming budget – significant milestones as the network continues to evolve, approaching 15 years of continued success in the pay-TV sphere.”
Lopez added that extending premiere windows would offer a two-fold advantage: protecting the investment value for NGCI business partners, especially network operators and advertisers, through exclusive access to National Geographic programming; while also offering audiences “a signature broadcast destination” for the Nat Geo viewing experience.
Ted Prince Jr., chief operating officer for National Geographic Global Media and president of NGV, added: “By putting broadcast distribution and sales under the same worldwide umbrella, we’re creating a distribution synergy that will optimize global initiatives and allow NGV to continue to expand worldwide home entertainment and digital streaming businesses.”
NGCI and NGTI will continue to share the National Geographic booth at the upcoming MIPCOM market in Cannes next month.
The news comes after David Lyle took control of the U.S. National Geographic Channel last month, as previously reported.