BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, today announced the launch of BBC Entertainment and CBeebies - two brand new channels from BBC Global Channels. The two 12-hour channels launch first on Tata-Sky’s DTH platform, with BBC Entertainment on air at 6pm local time today and the dual-language CBeebies channel, from 6am local time on 2 May.
The channels will showcase the very best original programming from the BBC and other British production houses - from award-winning dramas and innovative comedy on BBC Entertainment, to informative, educational and internationally-respected children’s properties on the pre-school channel, CBeebies.
CBeebies is a pre-school channel for children aged six years and under. Broadcasting in both Hindi and English, the channel’s programme schedule consists of the entertaining, trusted and interactive series seen on the UK’s own number one children’s CBeebies channel.
Acclaimed children’s properties such as The Roly Mo Show, Bill and Ben, Tweenies, Tikkabilla, Big Cook Little Cook and Boogie Beebies are immensely popular with pre-school children in the UK, and the channel provides kids with a safe haven in which to learn about and enjoy the world around them.
Speaking on the children’s channel, Christine Leo-McKerrow, Senior Vice President, Global Channels, Asia-Pacific, said, “With its bright colours, friendly and familiar characters and interactive content, CBeebies is a dependable environment for children, and encourages them to learn through play.”
She added, “I am confident the channel will be loved by parents and carers for its learning values and the trusted stamp of the BBC brand.”
CBeebies will broadcast from 6am to 6pm on Tata Sky channel number 607.
BBC Entertainment premieres Britain’s most talked-about hit series, including dramas and thrillers such as Doctor Who, Waking The Dead, Cutting It, Hotel Babylon, Silent Witness, Spooks and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. The channel also showcases the UK’s finest and most innovative comedy series, including Extras, My Life In Film and My Family. BBC Entertainment will broadcast on Tata Sky channel number 205 from 6pm to 6am.
Christine Leo-McKerrow said, “BBC Entertainment promises high quality entertainment with first class production values. The wealth of outstanding programming available on the channel will make BBC Entertainment the channel of choice for discerning Indian audiences who have a taste for premium quality television.”
Darren Childs, Managing Director, BBC Global Channels, said of the launch, “The economic growth in India has been explosive with the media and entertainment industries playing an integral part. Recent research reveals that India’s DTH operators will top Japan’s next year, that India will lead the Asian cable market by 2010, and that the region will be the most lucrative pay-TV market by 2015. BBC Worldwide aims to play a vital role in the broadcasting segment here amidst the boom and this is clearly the perfect time for us to unveil BBC Entertainment and CBeebies to Indian audiences.”
BBC Entertainment and CBeebies form part of BBC Worldwide’s strategy for the Global Channels business, unveiled by Darren Childs last year.
The launch of the new channels builds on an already strong presence that BBC Worldwide has in India. This includes a joint venture magazine deal with The Times Of India group, publishing major brands Femina and Filmfare; an established television sales business and an FM radio license partnership with Mid Day Multimedia Limited, to create seven FM radio stations in India’s metros.
BBC World, the 24-hour international news channel from BBC World Limited has also broadcast across India since 1991, while BBC World Service has had a presence on the subcontinent for the last 75 years.
For more information, please contact:
Amy Castle, BBC Worldwide
+44 208 433 2257
+91 22 2436 7039
Notes to Editors:
BBC Entertainment is BBC Worldwide’s wholly owned channel showcasing the very best comedy and drama from the BBC and other UK production houses. The channel launched first in Asia in October 2007, to critical acclaim. Paul Kay of The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) hailed the arrival of BBC Entertainment as “the TV success story of . Having changed its name from BBC Prime and concentrating on the best of British comedy and drama, this channel now boasts the most consistently watchable primetime line-up on Hong Kong screens, and offers a welcome alternative to the monopoly American shows… And with a back catalogue as extensive and innovative as that of the BBC, this channel’s potential is surely limited only by its own ambitions.”
CBeebies is a pre-school channel for children aged six years and under with a programme schedule that has an emphasis on educational entertainment and supported by the core BBC values that make the channel trustworthy, reliable, informative and educational. In the UK, CBeebies offers a mix of new and landmark, high-quality, UK-produced programmes to educate and entertain the BBC's youngest audiences. The service provides a range of pre-school programming designed to encourage learning through play for children aged six and under, in a consistently safe environment. The international CBeebies channel is also commercial-free and is wholly-owned by BBC Worldwide.
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has six core businesses: Global Channels, Global TV Sales, magazines, Content & Production, Home Entertainment and Digital Media. In 2005/06 BBC Worldwide generated profits of £89 million on sales of £784 million.