Müfit Umar, DocuBox’s channel manager, talks to TV Real about the vast assortment of factual content available through the SPI International/FilmBox channel.
SPI International/FilmBox’s DocuBox channel features 24/7 HD-quality documentaries and series that provide an educational and inspirational look at wildlife, history, humanity, science and culture. “Whether you are an aspiring chef, a science enthusiast, a nature lover, a global traveler, political activist or environmentalist, DocuBox has something to offer you,” Umar tells TV Real. “We want people to find themselves in our channel.”
DocuBox, which is available worldwide on various platforms, including DTH, cable, IPTV, DTT, mobile devices and VOD, was added to SPI’s bouquet of themed channels in 2011. “Our goal was to expose viewers to unique cultural experiences told through compelling, firsthand voices,” Umar says. “While our competitors transitioned more towards non-scripted, reality television, DocuBox remains committed to honest programming that helps us understand and interpret the modern world.”
The channel offers programming from a wide array of genres to appeal to different viewers with various interests. “In order to do that, we have tapped into hundreds of areas of interest and thousands of hours of content to appeal to the individual,” Umar says. “Each of our viewers is unique, and we’d like to believe our content reflects that.” There is content available for every member of the family, too, with shows and movies for viewers ages 7 and up airing during the day and content for audiences ages 17 and above airing during prime-time and late-night slots.
In keeping with its goal of reaching a diverse audience, DocuBox is currently available on six continents and in 14 different languages, with an eye set on expansion. “One of the highest priorities is to localize our content in as many languages as possible to maximize viewership,” Umar says. The channel currently broadcasts across Europe, the MENA region, Asia and North and South America, and is seeking to broaden its audience in new territories like Argentina, Brazil, Australia and Canada. The channel also mines its content from a number of providers from across the globe—including ARTE, Canal 13, Ampersand, Terranoa, all3media, France TV and ZED—and prides itself on working with everyone from prominent distribution companies to independent creators producing their own unique content.
This year, in addition to the thousands of hours of factual programming already available for viewing, the channel will feature four original documentaries that previously aired on FunBox UHD, one of DocuBox’s sister channels. The programs were commissioned by SPI International in 2017-18 and will now be available in HD on the channel.
According to Umar, the future will see the channel localize more content in order to reach audiences in all corners of the globe, produce more original content and push the envelope of documentary television. “The market is currently inundated with mindless television that doesn’t challenge us to be better individuals, to move outside our comfort zones and discover other cultures outside our own,” Umar says. “DocuBox wants to help change this reality by bringing awareness into every home.”