National Geographic Channel will launch a high-definition network by early 2006.
The channel, co-owned by National Geographic Television & Film and Fox Cable Networks, has been stockpiling HD programming for a year or more in anticipation of the new offering.
Nature footage, along with sports programming, is some of the most impressive HD footage, often used to demonstrate the sets in retail stores.
The new network will run more than 90% of National Geographic Channel’s prime time programming in HD at launch.
Since its own January 2001 launch, National Geographic Channel has grown from 10 million to 55 million subscribers, fueled lately by shows like Naked Science, MegaStructures, and Seconds From Disaster.
It has also doubled its upfront ad dollar volume over last year.