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Wild Unleashes New Lineup

Nat Geo Wild will look to launch new original and acquired content next year that it hopes will break through the cable-network jungle in an effort to reach a broad co-viewing audience.

The network is on a ratings roll, having posted increases in its primetime audiences each year since its launch in 2010. Thus far through 2014, the network is averaging 230,000 viewers, up from 189,000 in 2013, according to Nielsen.

Unlike other networks, Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Channels, said Nat Geo Wild has remained true to its brand of wildlife-themed programming, led by strong personalities, since its launch.

“The most successful networks know who they are and exercise against that consistently,” she said.

In an effort to maintain its ratings momentum, Nat Geo Wild will debut several new acquired and original shows in 2015 that Monroe said will attract more co-viewing among adults and kids. Nat Geo Wild currently is the fourth highest rated television network for co-viewing between adults 25-54 and kids 2-17 behind NBC, ABC Family and Adult Swim, said network officials quoting Nielsen numbers.

Nat Geo Wild is one of several networks looking to cash in on co-viewing. Networks such as ABC Family, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Nick at Nite, Boomerang and Adult Swim are all looking to gather both kids and adults in front of the small screen to maximize ratings and advertising opportunities.

Just two months ago, Boomerang said it would add commercials to its lineup of classic animated fare, in part to create marketing opportunities tied to co-viewing audiences.

Whereas television has often served as an electronic babysitter for parents, network executives said more parents are now interacting with and watching more TV with their kids, which bodes well for networks like Nat Geo looking to reach a broad audience.

Nat Geo recently reached an agreement with The Walt Disney Co.’s Disneynature production arm to air seven original movies from the division beginning Jan. 11 with the premiere of the Tim Allen-narrated Chimpanzee. Other films including Bears, Wings of Life, Crimson Wing, Cats, and Oceanswill air next year and in 2016 as part of the network’s Sunday-night primetime lineup, network executive vice president and general manager Geoff Daniels said.

Daniels said Nat Geo Wild’s Sundaynight lineup, which also features acquired movies and original specials like its Kingdom of Apes and Giant Panda, has drawn strong viewership among both adults and kids, according to Daniels.