BBC Worldwide today confirmed the closure of two of its branded entertainment channels in India. BBC Entertainment and CBeebies are to be withdrawn and will no longer be available beyond the end of November 2012.
BBC World News, however, will remain available in India and continue to grow its distribution in the market.
Commenting on the move, Mark Whitehead, Senior Vice President and General Manager, BBC Worldwide Channels Asia stated, “The decision to withdraw BBC Entertainment and CBeebies has not been an easy one; India is a dynamic and fast growing media market but remains uniquely challenging for pay TV channels. Specifically, delays in digitisation and the need for channel operators to pay cable platforms for carriage makes the economics of running channels very challenging at this time.”
In addition, BBC Worldwide operates a TV production business, a content syndication business and Lonely Planet in India. The company is also evaluating the potential for a number of digital initiatives which have been successfully developed in other markets. BBC programmes will also continue to be available on other channels in India, both terrestrial and cable, as well as digitally on its YouTube channel.
“We would like to thank the dedicated teams in India, Singapore and the UK, who have worked tirelessly on BBC Entertainment and CBeebies, and our many viewers for their support and loyalty. In the coming weeks, we will be doing our utmost to ensure a smooth transition for our staff affected by this decision,” added Whitehead.
Despite this, BBC World News – BBC’s international news and current affairs television channel continues to be available across the market, along bbc.com and bbchindi.com websites, BBC Hindi radio and ‘Global India’, a new primetime programme produced by BBC Hindi TV, which will launch on five ETV channels later this week.