BBC Worldwide is planning to launch two channels in India shortly – a channel for preschoolers called CBeebies and BBC Entertainment, offering drama and comedy. These would the first from the global four-channel rollout that the UK media major has planned.
The launches are reportedly part of a global rollout of four new TV channels that also include BBC Knowledge and BBC Lifestyle. Media reports also indicate that BBC Worldwide would decide on the expansion of the channels on a country basis. The entity is setting regional offices in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Heading operations in Asia is Christine Leo-McKerrow, who has been appointed Senior VP, Asia.
BBC Entertainment and CBeebies are due to be launched in India first. BBC Entertainment will replace BBC Prime in some countries, initially Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and Thailand.
CBeebies will air in India in Hindi and English and will not carry ads. A media report quoted Darren Childs, MD, Global Channels, BBC Worldwide: “We will be setting up an advisory board made up of local / Indian psychologists, doctors, teachers, parents, etc. to advise us on our programming and ensure we remain relevant and trustworthy.”
BBC Entertainment would air British properties in different genres like comedy, drama and light entertainment. A report also mentioned BBC is also looking at generating content from India and might also look to buying Indian production companies if the business successfully kicks in, the report adds.