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NatGeo Wild To Replace Fox Reality

Fox Cable Networks is prepping to replace the Fox Reality Channel with a new spin-off from its successful National Geographic Channel.

The new channel, National Geographic Wild, will air a mix of animal-centric and natural history programming. Cabler is already distributed internationally in territories including Hong Kong, the U.K., Turkey, Ireland and Vietnam. Channel launches next month in Australia.

Fox Cable plans to announce the new channel on Friday. Company confirmed earlier this week that it was planning on pulling the plug on Fox Reality by March 31 - and hinted that the replacement network would be a partnership with an outside entity.

In this case, that would mean National Geographic Television and Film, which has partnered with Fox Cable Networks on NatGeo since the channel's January 2001 launch.

Because of the unscripted nature of the new channel - you can't get much more "real" than nature-oriented fare - Fox Cable Networks hopes to make a smooth transition between the old channel and the new. Nonetheless, it's currently negotiating new affiliate deals with cable operators.

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