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Thursday, May 12, 2016

National Geographic Channel Boosts Premium Storytelling by Reducing Ad Load More Than 25% Across New Series

Exclusive Showcase for Brands Reflects New Programming Push

LOS ANGELES, CA – May 12, 2016) In advance of its annual upfront market, National Geographic Channel (NGC), a division of Fox Networks Group, announced it will reduce advertising by more than 25% across its new series and specials in the US, and will air its feature documentaries without any commercial interruption. The ad reduction provides a more exclusive showcase for brands, and a more immersive and engaging experience for viewers across linear and non-linear platforms, as part of National Geographic’s new programming push into premium storytelling around science, adventure and exploration.

NGC’s critically acclaimed series, The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, which concluded its 6-episode run on May 8th as the network’s most watched series in history, saw a 50% reduction in national ad time. The trend will continue this fall with reduced ad loads on new programs including the highly anticipated mini-series event Mars, from Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the expanded one-hour weekly magazine-talk hybrid relaunch of the signature series Explorer, and Ridley Scott’s TV movie adaptation of Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s best-selling book Killing Reagan starring Tim Matheson and Cynthia Nixon.

“In today’s super-saturated market, we are transforming the traditional commercial model to ensure that we’re delivering the greatest value to advertisers and the best possible consumer experience,” said Toby Byrne, President, Advertising Sales, Fox Networks Group. “By reducing ad loads across National Geographic and on other shows in our portfolio, combined with our innovative ad technology and strategy, we are creating a TV experience that amplifies brands and commands maximum attention from viewers.”

“As National Geographic increases its investment in premium storytelling, we’re committed to providing a more immersive experience for our viewers,” said Courteney Monroe, Chief Executive Officer, National Geographic Global Networks. “Presenting our new slate of high quality programming across every screen and platform with minimal commercial interruption is just one example of how we are differentiating ourselves in the marketplace.”

The announcement from National Geographic Channel is the latest effort in the network’s push into premium science, adventure and exploration programming, working with the best storytellers and creative talent from around the world. It also continues the broader strategy to expand opportunities for advertising partners across National Geographic following the expanded joint venture between 21CF and the National Geographic Society, which brings together all the media assets of National Geographic under one entity into a global super brand that touches over 730 million consumers of every age, in every part of the world, every single month.

This new strategy enables National Geographic to stand out in the marketplace as a forward-thinking media company that also boasts an unrivaled sense of purpose and mission, best evidenced by the fact that 27% of the proceeds go to the non-profit National Geographic Society – supporting real science, conservation and exploration.

FOX, which currently airs the #1-rated primetime series Empire with fewer commercial interruptions, also leads other broadcasters in reduced ad loads. Based on data from Nielsen for the broadcast network season to date as of May 1, FOX has carried an average of 10:33 minutes of commercials per hour in primetime, compared with 11:56 minutes for ABC; 11:37 minutes for CBS; 11:46 minutes for NBC and 11:56 minutes for CW.1

1. Source: Nielsen Ad Intel, 9/21/2015 - 5/01/2016, prime entertainment

About Fox Networks Group

Fox Networks Group (FNG) is a primary operating unit of 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA). FNG consists of Fox Television Group, which includes Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television; Fox Cable Networks, which includes FX Networks; Fox Sports Media Group, National Geographic Partners, and Fox Networks Group Europe, Asia and Latin America. Together these units create, program and distribute on a global basis much of the world’s most popular entertainment, sports and nonfiction programming.

About National Geographic Channels

The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and www.natgeowild.com.