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Press Release




New premium factual channel BBC Earth will launch on SKY on 22 October, rebranding existing channel BBC Knowledge.  

The BBC Earth channel will showcase a broad range of world-class factual programming represented by natural history, human stories, adventurous travels and scientific investigations, and will feature programmes from expert presenters such as Sir David Attenborough, Michael Mosley, Louis Theroux, Professor Brian Cox and Steve Backshall. 

Titles in launch week include Planet Earth II, the ambitious landmark natural history series that allows us to experience the world from the viewpoint of the animals themselves; Spy in the Wild, captures how similar we are to our animal cousins through the use of spy cameras; My Year with the Tribe, sees Will Millard visit the treehouse-dwelling Korowai tribe in Papua, Indonesia; Without Limits, which follows six disabled people on an epic journey along Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh trail; and a new series of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor with Michael Mosley, who gets behind the hype to discover the truth about what’s good for your health.

Closely following the launch, BBC Earth will host ‘Being Human’, a season of programmes airing in November exploring the human race, how we might improve the way we live and what the future could hold for civilisation. Shows will include Future Human: AI, The World’s Most Extraordinary People and Meet the Humans.

Says Tim Christlieb, Director of Branded Services, BBC Studios, Australia and New Zealand: “We are delighted to be launching the BBC Earth channel on SKY, offering best-in-class premium factual programming fronted by the BBC’s renowned presenters. BBC Earth is a well-established global brand that uses compelling stories to engage audiences with the wonders of our universe. We are confident that this new channel will resonate with local audiences given New Zealander’s strong connection to their natural environment, cultural curiosity and love of travel.” 

“While many of the familiar faces and shows on BBC Knowledge will transition to BBC Earth, we’ll be adding more natural history and adventure to the mix, and moving factual entertainment programmes like Who Do You Think You Are?, Dragons’ Den, Traffic Cops and Top Gear to BBC UKTV.” 

Says Travis Dunbar, SKY’s Director of Entertainment: “The BBC are globally renowned for the quality and diversity of their factual content and we are delighted to be bringing BBC Earth to SKY customers.” 
“Through this global brand they can now access this unique mix of premium content while still watching the favourites they’ve come to know and love.”

BBC Earth will join existing BBC channels – BBC UKTV and BBC World News – on the SKY platform as part of the SKY Entertainment package. It will also be available to live stream on SKY GO and selected shows are available for Catch Up on SKY GO and SKY On Demand. Fans will be able to check what’s coming up on BBC Earth via www.bbcnewzealand.com/channels/bbc-earth and also on BBC Earth’s Facebook page.  

Titles to air on the channel in the first week of launch include: 

Planet Earth II (22 October) – A decade ago, Planet Earth redefined natural history filmmaking, giving us the ultimate portrait of life on Earth. Ten years on, advances in both filming technology and our understanding of the natural world mean we can reveal our planet from a completely new perspective. Now, Planet Earth II allows us to experience the world from the viewpoint of animals themselves.

Spy in the Wild (22 October) – Animals love, mourn, deceive and invent – just like us. A new generation of spy cameras reveals how similar we are by using highly entertaining footage combined with fascinating scientific details. 

My Year with the Tribe (22 October) – Living in treehouses and using stone tools, the Korowai were only discovered in the jungles of West Papua 40 years ago. Will Millard visits this tribe to better understand the pressures they face, and how much of their traditional hunter-gathering lifestyle still exists. What he finds shocks, surprises and confounds him, as he witnesses the last gasp of an ancient way of life which once defined us all.

Trust Me I’m a Doctor (24 October) – The doctors are back to get behind the hype and headlines to find the truth about what’s good for your health.  

Without Limits (28 October) – Six disabled people ride out on an epic journey along Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh trail to discover a country of contrasts and a place to find themselves. Their journey highlights the beauty of Vietnam and challenges how the participants view their own disabilities.

Wild New Zealand (27 October) – This series reveals the country’s rich and intriguing wildlife stories, from the bustling communities of penguins hiding away in giant daisy forests to the kakapo – Earth’s only species of flightless nocturnal parrots. New Zealand was also the last place to be discovered and settled by people who brought with them new animals, like merino sheep and new predators like the stoat. Finally, Wild New Zealand meets the pioneering conservation heroes who are fighting to save some of its most endangered species.

Being Human Season (From 19 November):

Future Human: AI – From self-driving cars to robot cars, from exo-skeleton machinery to aid the disabled, to social robots whose role is to provide company for the lonely, the developments made in the field of A.I. have been astounding but what risks does it pose to human jobs and safety – and what might happen when A.I. can think for itself?

The World’s Most Extraordinary People – How might rare medical conditions be a force for good? This revelatory series reveals the extraordinary people who are helping international scientists make medical breakthroughs and advance our knowledge of the human body.

Meet the Humans – This bold new series puts human behaviour under the microscope. A plush country house is rigged with surveillance cameras and a group of unwitting test subjects invited to take part in various group activities, with Michael Mosley and experts analysing the contributors’ every move.