×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BBC Worldwide bows new channels

Beeb launches most ambitious strategy for a decade

LONDON — BBC Worldwide, the pubcaster’s commercial arm, is launching a new bouquet of global channels in what represents the outfit’s most ambitious strategy for a decade.

The first fruits of the new initiative will see pre-school tyke web, CBeebies, and newly forged BBC Entertainment bow in India before the end of the year – and “two or three additional channels” in the U.S. by 2009.

Two new channel brands are being launched – BBC Knowledge and BBC Lifestyle, plus as high definition channel.

Apart from CBeebies, which will be free to air, the new ventures will be funded by a mix of subscription and ad coin.

Said BBC Worldwide’s managing director of global channels, Darren Childs: “Global channels is going to become a massive part of Worldwide’s growth strategy over the next three to five years. It is a good, high margin business.”

Childs would not be drawn on specifically which webs are being prepared for a U.S. launch, but provided distribution deals can be signed the aim is to have a U.S. version of CBeebies up and running alongside BBC America, plus a new HD channel and the soon-to-be launched BBC Lifestyle.

The Corp. also wants to beef up its non-linear presence in international markets, the main reason why the Beeb has dropped “TV” from its Global Channels branding.

Added Childs: “Our channels will broadcast across all media – VOD, mobile, and online as well as linear channels.”

The Indian version of CBeebies, the Corp’s first branded TV web to bow on the sub-continent, will air in dual language versions – Hindi and English.

BBC Entertainment will replace BBC Prime which will be phased out in the coming months.

Said Childs: “BBC Prime will disappear as a brand. It is something we can do better. It was too non-specific. BBC Entertainment will do what it says on the tin.

“Our aim is to make all our channels much more localized with dedicated content aimed at particular territories.

“We want to customize shows for local markets in the way that we remade ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ as ‘Dancing With The Stars’ in the U.S.”

BBC Entertainment is to be rolled out across Asia in October, with Europe following before the end of the year.

As part of the plan, regional offices are being opened for the first time in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Childs said that while the new webs will all have first-look deals with the BBC, there will be a need to acquire shows in most genres.

Quite how established global channels operators will react to the BBC’s ambitions remains to be seen.

In Blighty, commercial media combines like News International have accused the pubcaster of unfair competition as it seeks to broaden its activities across all media.

Childs, however, said there was a market demand for the new channels.

He said: “We are not launching copycat channels. Audiences are at the heart of everything we do.”

More TV

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content