StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Nat Geo & Disney+: How They Balance Programming Strategies. A Pact Webinar

Nat Geo is a legendary brand for documentary filmmakers and viewers.

But how is the Nat Geo channel evolving, now that it belongs to the Disney family and is a subsidiary brand to Disney+?

Veteran programming executive Dan Salerno answers this question and more in our most recent webinar.

Latest: Nat Geo Wild Loses Subscribers

  • Following the recording of the webinar, Disney and cable operator Charter announced a distribution deal that drops Nat Geo Wild.
  • The deal further limits the network’s footprint to just one-third of U.S. households.
  • We are continuing to assess the impact on strategy, content, and commissioning across the National Geographic portfolio as well as other second tier networks.
  • We will share our insights in the upcoming weeks.

Watch here (26 min)

This is episode #8 in a series on industry trends co-produced by Pact, the UK producers’ association and Documentary Business.



  • [4:00] How many hours of new programming is Nat Geo commissioning?
  • [7:00] Looking back at 2016: Nat Geo’s strategy shift.
  • [11:20] Disney+ originals: Is the streamer leaning linear?
  • [18:00] What do the numbers say about the success of the Nat Geo brand within the Disney family?
  • [21:30] How recent budget cuts at Disney are impacting programming.

Ten U.S. Channels: What Are They Buying?

“Linear still matters!” is the theme of my Pact webinars with Dan on the U.S. channels’ programming strategies:

Other popular Pact / Documentary Business webinars


  • Aimee Shimmin produces our webinar series for Pact.
  • Caitlin Cooper is associate editor for Documentary Business.

About Dan Salerno

Dan Salerno has been a key member of the leadership team for established and emerging networks, with an emphasis on strategic planning and content development. Most recently National Geographic’s Head of Programming, focusing on programming, development, and strategy, Dan’s career also includes BBC, Gospel, Fuse, and the original launch team at Discovery and its sister channels.