Television

BBC Entertainment enters Malaysia on Astro

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MUMBAI: India may still remain a significant absentee but Malaysia has just been added to the list of countries beaming BBC Entertainment.

An official communique announced the launch of BBC Entertainment on Malaysia's dominant Astro direct-to-home (DTH) platform. The BBC-branded general entertainment channel reportedly started beaming on Astro (Channel 26) as of 28 December, 2006.

BBC Entertainment's line up of British shows include Doctor Who, Footballers' Wives, Waking the Dead and comedies like Extras, Suburban Shootout and My Family.

BBC Global Channels Asia, the part of BBC Worldwide that handles the roll-out of the Corporation's recently relaunched package of international channels, first launched BBC Entertainment in Asia, replacing BBC Prime on StarHub in Singapore, UBC in Thailand, Skylife in South Korea and Now TV in Hong Kong on 8 October, 2006.

"We are delighted to be part of the Astro platform and to be reaching new viewers in Malaysia," Christine Leo-McKerrow, BBC's SVP of global channels for Asia has been quoted as saying. "BBC Entertainment has had a great reception from both critics and viewers around the region, and we are sure viewers in Malaysia will respond in the same way."

The launches are part of a global rollout of four new TV channels that will include preschoolers' channel CBeebies and BBC Knowledge and BBC Lifestyle. The plan is that all four channels will be broadcast across all media: linear TV, VoD, mobile and online.

NO WORD STILL OF INDIA LAUNCH TIMELINES

In India meanwhile, there is no official word yet on the launch status of BBC Entertainment, as too CBeebies, which according to the announcement made in early September, are the two channels that will be making their entry in the country in the first phase.

Present indications though are that the BBC is looking at an April-May launch window. The man in charge of operations here is creative head content and production India Saul Nasse.

The BBC is looking at further rollouts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in the course of the year, replacing BBC Prime in these markets.

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