One of the core brands of Disney+ is National Geographic, offering a wide selection of films and series on a variety of different topics, from animals, history and science.  There’s been plenty of great originals like “The Right Stuff”, “Super/Natural” and “Secrets Of The Whales” over the past few years since Disney+ launched, but for some reason, in 2023, National Geographic has constantly been misfiring on Disney+ in the United States.

In the last few months, almost every pre-announced show that has been scheduled to arrive on Disney+ in the United States, has either been late or just never been added.  And even last year, there were countless times when a National Geographic show  was advertised to be coming to Disney+, but no-showed, only to be added months later.

Earlier today, the latest season of “Critter Fixers: Country Vets” wasn’t added onto Disney+, even after a social media campaign saying it would be available.  A similar thing happened with the latest season of “Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller “.

The problem with National Geographic content missing its release schedule is becoming almost predictable, as nearly every title in the past few months that was previously announced to be coming, was either late or never made available such as “Going Fur Gold ” and .   One of the worst offenders is “Oceans Breath“, which has had three different Disney+ release dates, but was never added.

Disney+ is supposed to be the home of National Geographic, since it is one of the core brands, but lots of new content has been heading to Hulu instead, especially anything that might be considered a mature theme, which would seem unnecessary, now that Disney+ in the US has mature content and better parental controls.

Disney has also recently started sharing the Disney+ Originals, like the upcoming “A Small Light” or “Secrets Of The Elephants” with Hulu and the linear National Geographic channel.  Sharing content between networks and platforms isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It makes the films and shows available to more viewers, plus it provides Disney with more revenue streams to make money on this content, which results in more great content from Nat Geo being created.   But Disney+ subscribers aren’t getting the National Geographic content that’s being advertised, which is a problem.

Internationally, National Geographic content releases are always a little unpredictable, with some shows going to linear networks first or taking months to arrive, even if the Nat Geo linear television channels have been closed down.

National Geographic content is also continuously being removed from the Disney+, but it is often not known or noticed by subscribers, since Disney doesn’t inform anyone in advance of content removals.  There is no doubt some legal or contractual reason for these removals.  Removals are an issue that all streaming services have to deal with, but National Geographic titles seem to be impacted much more than content from the other core brands like Disney, Marvel or Star Wars.

Hopefully, with all of the restructuring going on within Disney, things can be sorted out, but it’s been over three years since Disney+ launched, and these problems still haven’t been fixed.    With a shifting release strategy, a reorganisation and a focus on profit, it’s only natural for some communication issues or for plans to change, but it’s noticeable that National Geographic hasn’t fixed any of the problems from the past few years and seems to be getting worse.   Release schedules are always at risk of being changed due to unforeseen circumstances, but once they start becoming regular and Disney+ subscribers aren’t being provided with content advertised, it shows there is an underlying problem between National Geographic and Disney+.

What do you think of the problems with National Geographic content on Disney+?  Let us know on social media!


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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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