National Geographic steps up VoD efforts

National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) is planning a global roll-out of video-on-demand initiatives, adding to existing VoD efforts in the UK.

Currently, NGCI has VoD projects running in the UK through Telewest, through a trial service set up in 2005, in addition to tie-ups with Homechoice, Sky Mobile and Rock TV.

Now discussions are under way for further Nat Geo VoD deals around the globe. "It is something we are looking at," NGCI executive VP of content Sydney Suissa told sources, noting that this will build on efforts to roll out in the US from NGCI's American sister channel National Geographic Television.

"We are looking at launching a VoD service in Canada, and I suspect we've been very active in trying to get that happening in Spain," said Suissa. He also said that efforts are set to get rolling on a branded VoD offering in Hong Kong, where, as source recently reported, NGCI will launch its new wildlife channel dubbed National Geographic Wild next week.

Nat Geo's VoD strategy will look to take advantage of its overall brand and blue-chip programmes across genres, rather than centering on niche subjects. "I don't think we need to focus just on wildlife," said Suissa. "We would definitely offer some of our better wildlife titles, but we would want to go broader with VoD."