BBC Global Channels – one of six BBC Worldwide businesses – has chosen Poland as the first European territory to launch its new suite of BBC-branded thematic channels.
Its partner is Cyfrowy Polsat, Poland's biggest satellite platform.
Poland was identified by the business as a priority market for channel expansion and, teaming up with Cyfrowy Polsat, represents the first time that all four new channels – BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies – have rolled out in one market at the same time.
The channels will debut in Poland on 2 December 2007 and will be available on satellite exclusively for subscribers of Cyfrowy Polsat as part of the platform's Family package.
Spearheaded by Dean Possenniskie, Senior Vice President EMEA, BBC Global Channels, the deal with Cyfrowy Polsat is unprecedented in the territory.
Possenniskie says: "I am delighted with the long term carriage agreement we now have in place with Poland's most successful DTH platform, Cyfrowy Polsat. With this partnership in place I'm very confident we will quickly demonstrate the positive impact our channels can make in a highly competitive market through strong localised brands and programming of the highest quality across all four channel genres."
Dominik Libicki, Chairman of the Board, Cyfrowy Polsat S.A. says: "I am really glad that once again our platform introduces to the Polish market one of the world's most recognized television brands.
"BBC programmes offer reliable knowledge and excellent entertainment which is why I believe Polish viewers will soon appreciate their value. At the same time we bring four thematic channels to our subscribers with a broad range of interests. The channels will be added to the Family Package (Pakiet Familijny) bringing to BBC the largest pay TV audience in Poland."
Possenniskie adds: "We aim to quickly grow our distribution across cable platforms in Poland, which we will support through a major strategic investment in a fully functional office in Warsaw.
"This ensures we have the best local people in place to manage the future development and growth of our channels. This is the model we plan to roll out into other key EMEA territories in 2008, and I’m delighted to that we begin our new European channels business in such a vibrant growth market".
Newly-appointed Director of Programming, John Taite, who joined BBC Global Channels last month, adds: "The new BBC channels will add something dynamic to the Polish market.
"Specifically tailored programming will give our audiences what they want, when they want it. Shows will also be lectored and dubbed in Polish for the first time to make them even more locally relevant. Brand new series of Top Gear and Michael Palin's New Europe on BBC Knowledge, Torchwood on BBC Entertainment, Numberjacks on CBeebies and Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC Lifestyle are just some of the titles we will premiere in Poland."
The new BBC channels:
BBC Knowledge showcases the best of the BBC’s award-winning factual and non-fiction entertainment programming.
The channel provides five key programming strands enabling simple appointment viewing: The World delves and explores new cultures around the world; Science & Technology explores new frontiers, from space to motoring; People explores aspects of the human body and mind; The Past brings historical events, places and people back to life; Business offers invaluable advice to help stay on top of today’s challenging business world. The channel will be lectored in Polish.
BBC Entertainment showcases the very best comedy, drama and light entertainment programming from the BBC and other UK production houses.
The channel launched first in Asia in October 2006, to critical acclaim. The South 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."
The channel will be lectored in Polish.
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. The channel will be dubbed in Polish.
BBC Lifestyle is an inimitable destination offering inspiration for home, family and life.
The channel dishes up six key programming strands to entertain engage and inspire viewers - Food: Serving up the best food and cookery shows with world-famous chefs promising enticing gastronomic journeys around the world; Home & Design offers expert advice and design knowledge to help viewers transform houses into perfect homes; Fashion & Style brings honest, practical advice and fashion tips from some of the world’s top style gurus; Health helps improve diet and nutrition with expert advice; Parenting provides child psychologists and advisors to help with busy or stressful family life; Personal Development helps enrich mental wellbeing and achieve inspiration in all aspects of life.
The channel will be lectored in Polish.
The new channels join BBC World - the BBC's international news and information channel distributed by BBC Global Channels - which is already available on numerous cable networks in Poland.
The 2006 CEBRS results showed that BBC World is the number one international news channel in Poland, and while most weekly international news audiences have declined in Central Europe, BBC World's audiences have actually grown 10% in two years.
Notes to editors:
BBC Global Channels is one of six BBC Worldwide businesses. Formed in 2005, the business has 22 channels broadcasting to over 259 million homes around the globe. 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.
Cyfrowy Polsat S.A. (www.cyfrowypolsat.pl) launched in 2000 is the biggest digital satellite television platform in Poland with 1.7 million active subscribers offering 57 Polish-language TV channels, 9 radio channels and hundreds of free-to-air channels.
The platform is constantly developing to offer its subscribers new channels, modern decoders and additional services based on innovative technologies. Cyfrowy Polsat is also planning to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) scheduled to launch its mobile telephone services soon.
BBC World is the BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour news and information channel, is owned and operated by BBC World Ltd, a member of the BBC's commercial group of companies.
BBC World attracts 76 million viewers a week, is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and reaches 269 million households and more than 1.5 million hotel rooms. The channel's content is also available on 54 cruise ships, 38 airlines, 34 mobile phone networks and a number of major online platforms including www.bbcnews.com
For further information on how to receive BBC World, download schedules or find out more about the channel, visit www.bbcworld.com.