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BBC Worldwide shuts two channels in India

BBC Worldwide confirmed the closure of two of its branded entertainment channels in India – BBC Entertainment India and CBeebies. The channels are to be withdrawn and will stop broadcasting by 30 November 2012.

BBC Worldwide Channels had made the pan-Asian feeds of CBeebies and BBC Entertainment available in India from June 2009. The dedicated entertainment channel for India BBC Entertainment was re-launched in January 2011, featuring the best of BBC and British content across a range of genres.

Mark Whitehead, senior Vice President and General Manager, BBC Worldwide Channels Asia, said, “The decision to withdraw BBC Entertainment and CBeebies has not been an easy one; India is a dynamic and fast growing mediamarket but remains uniquely challenging for pay TV channels. Specifically, delays in digitisation and the need for channel operators to pay cable platforms for carriage make the economics of running channels very challenging at this time.”

Whitehead added that despite this, BBC Worldwide will remain committed to India, where BBC World News – the BBC’s international news and current affairs television channel – will continue to be available across the market, along with the and websites; BBC Hindi radio and Global India, a new primetime programme produced by BBC Hindi TV which will launch on five ETV channels this week.