BBC World News has recently announced its programming revamp, wherein the channel has overhauled all its key shows for South Asia. On the back of this, BBC World News has now announced a distribution partnership with Sun Direct, where BBC World News officials claim that the channel’s overall India distribution would now be at 22 million households.
The new arrangement, which began this month, would see BBC’s international, commercially-funded channel placed on the basic pack on Sun Direct’s DTH platform.
In conversation with exchange4media, Colin Lawrence, Commercial Director, BBC World News, informed that the key shows that the channel was stressing on for the South Asia audience included ‘The Hub with Nik Gowing’ and ‘India Business Report’. He said, “India has been an important market for us for many years now. The fact that the number of BBC people in India is second only to London asserts that. We are very focussed on our objectives from the India market place, and our deal with Sun Direct is only a start of the plans that we have for the region in this year.”
Commenting on the partnership with Sun Direct, Lawrence said, “We’re delighted that Sun Direct, India’s youngest and No. 2 DTH company, has taken us on to its platform and an extra 5 million households in India can now watch us directly. Our new schedule also gives Indian viewers content that is tailored for them, so we’re excited about the future here.”
In a prepared statement, Tony D Silva, Chief Operating Officer, Sun Direct, added, “BBC World News is a first class news channel with something unique to offer our viewers, particularly with its new programming focused on our region. We’re providing next generation services to our audiences here, using the latest MPEG-4 based technology, and BBC World News is exactly the kind of channel we want to provide on our platform.”
Meanwhile, BBC officials said the channel had seen a 20-25 per cent increase in category of advertisers, with the core categories coming back and new categories getting added on this year.