Deal in France close, NGCI prexy says
MIAMI — Making its debut in a new region, National Geographic Channel Intl. will bow in Brazil Nov. 1 and will launch in Spanish-lingo Latam markets in the first quarter of 2001.
Prexy and CEO David Haslingden, who joined from Asian satcaster Star TV last December, said NGCI is also nearing a deal for France, a key Euro market for the docu channel.
“My goal is to be in all the major global markets by the middle of next year,” Haslingden said. Brazil is its 111th country and will bring global subs to more than 80 million.
Haslingden hopes to cut deals in both France and Germany before 2000 is out; Japan is his other main outstanding territory.
In Brazil, NGCI acquired the existing 1.7 million sub distribution of local pay net Superstation, which had been airing dubbed U.S. network programming since 1991. The NGCI Brazil channel will be 100% dubbed into Portuguese.
The channel will bow on Nov. 1 on cable, as well as on satcaster Sky Brazil. NGCI’s backers include Fox Entertainment Group; Fox parent News Corp. is an investor in Sky Latam DTH operations. The channel will also build on interest generated by the April launch of the National Geographic magazine Brazil edition, NGCI said.
Former Superstation owner Orlando Vallone has been named managing director, Brazil. He will oversee the transition and the launch, and will work closely chief operating officer Angela Norton to cultivate local presenters and voiceover talent and to find local producers to create programming on Brazilian subjects.
Superstation facils in Sao Paolo will serve as the operational hub for Latam operations.
NGCI has been working closely in the region with Fox Latin America affil-sales, marketing and ad-sales staff in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Los Angeles. Fox Latam operates three pan-regional channels: Canal Fox, Fox Kids Latam and Fox Sports Latam. Its Brazil office will handle ad sales for NGCI as well.
NGCI is backed by National Geographic TV, Fox and NBC.