BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has announced the launch of BBC Entertainment and CBeebies -- two new channels from BBC Global Channels -- in India. The two 12-hour channels launch first on Tata Sky’s DTH platform, with BBC Entertainment on air at 6 PM local time and the dual-language CBeebies channel from 6 am local time.
The channels will showcase original programming from the BBC and other British production houses -- from dramas and comedy on BBC Entertainment, to informative and educational children’s properties on 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 channels CBeebies.
Speaking on the children’s channel, Christine Leo-McKerrow, Senior VP, 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. I am confident the channel will be loved by parents and carers for its learning values and the trusted stamp of the BBC brand.”
Some of the properties here are ‘The Roly Mo Show’, ‘Bill and Ben’, ‘Tweenies’, ‘Tikkabilla’, ‘Big Cook Little Cook’ and ‘Boogie Beebies’. CBeebies will broadcast from 6 am to 6 pm on Tata Sky.
BBC Entertainment premieres British 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 British comedy series, including ‘Extras’, ‘My Life In Film’ and ‘My Family’. BBC Entertainment will broadcast on Tata Sky from 6 pm to 6 am.
Leo-McKerrow commented, “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, commented, “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 the 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 licence partnership with Mid Day Multimedia Limited, to create seven FM radio stations in India’s metros.