NGC Network India to shut down Nat Geo Music HD, Nat Geo People HD
MUMBAI: Disney-owned NGC Network India is shutting down National Geographic Music HD and National Geographic People HD from 24th May. The infotainment network will launch two new channels National Geographic Tamil and National Geographic Telugu.
The broadcaster has received approval from the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) to rename these channels as National Geographic Tamil and National Geographic Telugu.
For the record, National Geographic People HD is focused on people and cultures. National Geographic Music HD, as the name suggests, focusses on music. In 2015, NGC Network India had stopped the standard definition feeds of these two channels and made them available in HD.
Currently, Discovery Communications India is the only player in the infotainment space to have a dedicated regional channel in Discovery Tamil which was launched in 2011. Since then the broadcaster has not made further moves in terms of separate regional channels for other brands like Animal Planet.
AETN18, the 51:49 JV between TV18 and A+E Networks, is planning to launch History TV18 Tamil. In 2017, it had received the permission from the MIB to launch History TV18 Tamil. Most infotainment players are addressing regional markets through audio language feeds.
In the new distribution regime, National Geographic clearly sees a bigger benefit in increasing the scope and width of the mother brand. Launching channels in local language allows a broadcaster to gain new audiences. It also opens up a new revenue stream for the broadcaster. Furthermore, the South is a major market for the infotainment genre.
Last year, National Geographic completed 20 years of operating in the country. Apart from National Geographic, NGC Networks India also operates other channels including the lifestyle channel Fox Life which last year underwent a rebranding exercise with a new tagline ‘Never Stop’.