The National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox have reached an agreement to expand their 18-year joint venture for National Geographic Channels.

April 6, 2018

2 Min Read

Long-time partners create new joint venture, National Geographic Partners.

The National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox have reached an agreement to expand their 18-year joint venture for National Geographic Channels, a joint venture of domestic and international cable channels that together reach more than 500 million households globally.

The new, expanded joint venture will operate as National Geographic Partners and will combine National Geographic television channels with National Geographic’s other media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines, National Geographic Studios, related digital and social media platforms, books, maps, children’s media and ancillary activities including travel, location-based entertainment, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce.

The transaction is valued at $725 million, and as a result, the society’s endowment will significantly increase to nearly $1 billion.

“We’re working hard to focus our portfolio on brands that have unquestionable consumer appeal," says James Murdoch, chief executive officer, 21st Century Fox. "This expanded partnership, bringing together all of the media and consumer activities under the National Geographic umbrella, one of the most treasured names in the world, creates vast opportunities and enables this business to be even more successful in a digital environment.”

The new entity will be owned 73 percent by 21st Century Fox and 27 percent by The National Geographic Society, with a shared governance structure and equal representation on the board of directors. The board chair will alternate annually, with Gary Knell, National Geographic Society president and chief executive officer, serving as the board’s first chairman. Declan Moore, a 20-year veteran of the cociety currently serving as chief media officer, has been appointed chief executive officer of National Geographic Partners.

“The expansion of our nearly two decade partnership with 21st Century Fox is another milestone for The National Geographic Society, which for much of its 127 years has sponsored groundbreaking scientists and explorers and shared the knowledge and wonder with the world, using the best and most creative media platforms of each era,” says Knell. “As media organizations work to meet the increasing demand for high-quality storytelling across multiple platforms, it’s clear that the opportunity to grow by more closely aligning our branded content and licensing assets is the right path. We now will have the scale and reach to continue to fulfill our mission long into the future.”

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