National Geographic Channel (UK and Ireland)

National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel Logo
Launched 1 September 1997
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share UK:
0.05% (+1)
0.07% (Wild) (September 2015 (2015-09), BARB)
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Replaced Sky 2 (1996–1997)
Sister channel(s) Nat Geo Wild
Sky Channel 129 (SD/HD)
Channel 229 (+1)
Channel 824 (SD)
Virgin Media (UK) Channel 266
Channel 267 (+1)
Channel 268 (HD)
Virgin Media (Ireland) Channel 215
Channel 221 (HD)
WightFibre Channel 84
BT Channel 317
Channel 373 (HD)
Plusnet Channel 317
Channel 373 (HD)
TalkTalk TV Channel 317
Streaming media
TVPlayer Watch live (UK only) (TVPlayer Plus subscription required)
Sky Go Watch live
(UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (UK only)

The National Geographic Channel is a television channel that features documentaries produced by the National Geographic Society. It features some programming similar to that on the Discovery Channel such as nature and science documentaries. The channel was launched in Europe in September 1997 and time shared initially with the failing NBC Europe until NBC Europe's demise in 1998, at which point it began timesharing with Fox Kids (in the UK, replacing the failed first iteration of Sky 2); with analogue transmission of the channel ending, and the sale of Fox Kids to Disney, timesharing was eventually superseded by 24-hour broadcasting. It was later launched worldwide including in Asia and the United States. Today, the channel is available in over 143 countries, seen in more than 160 million homes and in 25 languages.

It is owned by a company called the "NGC-UK Partnership", which initially was jointly owned by the National Geographic Society and British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), but in 2006, Sky's parent company News Corporation (now 21st Century Fox) purchased 25 percent of the stake in the partnership, followed by the acquisition of BSkyB's remaining 50 percent stake by its sister company, the Fox Entertainment Group.

This includes an English-language version for the UK, Ireland, Malta and Iceland. It also includes Dutch, Italian, Norwegian and Turkish speaking channels among others. The channel's musical signature is the Elmer Bernstein composed theme that has also appeared on the National Geographic broadcast-TV specials.


The channel is owned by the NGC-UK Partnership, which was formed in 1997 as a joint venture between National Geographic Television & Film, a division of the National Geographic Society and British Sky Broadcasting through its Sky Ventures division. The NGS provides programming expertise, while BSkyB provides its expertise on distribution, marketing, commercial and advertising sales. The partnership builds and operates National Geographic channels and services across Europe. It is headquartered in London. In December 2006, News Corporation purchased 25 percent of the Society's stake in the company. This meant that BSkyB owned half company, while the National Geographic Society and News Corp held 25 percent share each.[1] In December 2007, BSkyB sold its stake in the partnership to the Fox Entertainment Group,[2][3] through its Fox Networks Group subsidiary.

National Geographic Channel HD

National Geographic Channel HD is available in the UK and Ireland. It launched on 22 May 2006 on Sky channel 543. The channel joined Virgin Media's cable TV line-up on 30 July 2009.[4] On 5 August 2009, it was also made available on UPC Ireland's cable TV service.[5] The HD version available in the UK and Ireland was not originally a simulcast of the standard definition version of the National Geographic Channel, with some of the content coming from Rush HD, however from 1 December 2010 National Geographic Channel HD became a simulcast.[6]


Continuity / Voiceovers

Rob Jarvis, who is well known as Eddie in Hustle is one of the two main male promo voices for this channel, along with Adam Longworth from XFM radio station.

See also


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