National Geographic Channel is making a bet on music this summer. In a bid to bring in younger viewers and maximize its stable of programming from international units, the cable channel is swapping out the reruns it usually programs during late-night for a mix of global music videos and shows. Starting June 30, the network will run music from its international sister channel, Nat Geo Music, from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. ET and also put the titles on video on demand. The move reflects the broader world view of David Haslingdon, appointed as CEO of both NGC and NatGeo International last year. It is also an effort to lure younger viewers. The network usualy attracts viewers 25-54.
“This is really a reflection of looking at the global synergies between the US and international,” says Steve Schiffman, general manager of NatGeo Channel in the U.S. The network has gotten the go-ahead from current late night advertisers to run in the music shows instead.
NatGeo will focus on global music videos, concerts, interviews and documentaries.Programs include Place Jam, which focuses on music from a specific country; Music Nomad, connecting travel to music; and Geo Sessions, acoustic performances from top musicians like Ben Harper and Michael Franti. —Anne Becker