The National Geographic Channel is switching today from the Romanian channel feed to the Balkans - a channel change which has been considered and planned for the past three months. The effect to viewers in South Africa is that it basically moves TV shows which have been seen here at 21:00, two hours earlier to start at 19:00. In essense it moves better programming earlier, to fit better with South Africa's primetime television block which would help to grow viewership.
Shows will now also start 10 minutes before the hour, and no longer on the hour or the half hour.
The National Geographic Channel is also investing in African content, and says "a strong new slate of programming" will be introduced focused on character driven series and with more episodes per season and series.
"The solution proposed is to deliver a newly-created English feed for Afica," says Alessandro Tucci, National Geographic Channel's channel head in Africa.
"The new feed will serve Africa better. We'll be able to better manage seasonality, Africa related content,time zones and even our programming specials that viewers have been accustomed to, over the years," says Alessandro Tucci.
The National Geographic Channel will also have smaller breaks and there is the new on-air graphic package which was introduced in April on a global level for the channel.
"There will now be a metter bethod to create Africa specific scheduling windows and the choice to consider Africa seasonality," says Alessandro Tucci. "In the long term it would allow the channel the power to schedule with Africa ratings in mind."