Fox Networks Group is launching National Geographic+, an on-demand service, in Europe and Africa in early 2018, Jan Koeppen, president, Fox Networks Group Europe and Africa, told Variety.
“There has been a misconception that [video on demand] is all about scripted,” Koeppen told the magazine. “People have been a bit shy about VOD in factual because everybody is so excited about the drama and, to a certain extent, comedy world. We think there is a real demand on the factual side, too, but we have to put a new face on what factual actually means in non-linear.”
The service, which is intended as a business-to-business play, will first roll out on Cell C’s Black service in South Africa, on OTE’s Cosmote in Greece and on the YouSee pay-TV platform in Denmark.
While the new streaming service will showcase factual (or nonscripted) programming, it also will run Nat Geo’s original scripted series, which is an area the basic cable network is just entering. That includes such series as Genius, Mars and The Long Road Home and such theatrical documentaries as Jane, about primate expert Jane Goodall. It will divide offerings into categories, or “topics,” says Koeppen, allowing viewers to dig in by the subject matter about which they are most passionate.
Fox Networks Group currently airs 151 channels across 58 countries in Europe and Africa. It started rolling out the Fox+ on-demand service last February, offering such series as the Prison Break reboot or sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Fox+ is available on Deutsche Telekom in Germany, Canal+ in France and MTG, Canal Digital in the Nordics, NOS in Portugal and Cell C in South Africa.