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International BBC television channels

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Title: International BBC television channels  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: BBC Television, International BBC television channels, BBC South Asia, BBC, BBC Worldwide
Collection: International Bbc Television Channels, Television in the United Kingdom
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International BBC television channels

The BBC is forbidden under its charter to directly undertake any commercial operations on-air within the United Kingdom; however, no such restriction applies to operations in other countries. Therefore, the BBC exploits its massive television archive by operating a number of commercial television channels outside the UK through its BBC Worldwide subsidiary.

Some channels are wholly owned by BBC Worldwide, others are operated as joint ventures with other broadcasters.


  • Wholly owned channels 1
    • Upcoming channels 1.1
    • Defunct channels 1.2
  • History 2
    • BBC World Service Television (1991–1994) 2.1
    • BBC World & BBC Prime 2.2
    • BBC World News 2.3
  • Joint ventures 3
    • Canada 3.1
  • Other 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Wholly owned channels

  • BBC Arabic TelevisionArabic news channel available in the Arab World
  • BBC America – entertainment channel available in US
  • BBC HDhigh-definition television channel available in Scandinavia and Latin America (including Brazil)
  • BBC Knowledge – educational & information channel (not related to the UK-only BBC Knowledge which has been replaced)
  • BBC Entertainment – entertainment channel available in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America (except Brazil)
  • BBC Lifestyle - available internationally in many countries
  • BBC Persian – Iranian/Afghan news channel available in Europe, Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan
  • BBC UKTV – entertainment channel available in Australia and New Zealand (formerly in a 20% joint venture with Foxtel (60%) and RTL (20%), but as of 1 July 2008, it is wholly owned[1][2])
  • BBC World News – an International news channel from BBC available in Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and America. Available in the UK.
  • CBeebies
  • CBBC

Upcoming channels

Starting in 2014 BBC will roll out the following channels worldwide, with most of the existing channels transitioning to the following 3 channels:[3]

  • BBC Brit - a male-skewed factual channel
  • BBC Earth - a documentary channel
  • BBC First - an entertainment channel focusing on comedy and drama programming

Defunct channels

  • BBC Food – Southern Africa/Scandinavia; has been rolled into BBC Lifestyle
  • BBC Japan – an entertainment channel available in Japan, ceased broadcasting in 2006, owing to the closure of its local distributor.
  • BBC Prime – entertainment channel available in Africa, Asia & Europe; ceased operations on 11 November 2009, replaced by BBC Entertainment.


BBC World Service Television (1991–1994)

BBC World News was formerly known as BBC World Service Television was officially launched by Actress of the Republic of Indonesia's Djenar Maesa Ayu on 15 November 1991 at 20:00 HKT from the Hong Kong International Airport (former Kai Tak International Airport) in Kowloon Bay located of Kowloon Peninsula with 100-original staff members. It first had an introduction by BBC who announced:

"We won't be signing off until the world ends. We'll be on, we'll be covering it live, and that will be our last, last event. We'll play the royal anthem for one time on the middle of November, at that's all. When the end of the world comes, we'll play "Nearer My God to Thee" before we sign off."

Then the husband and news presenter of Dave Walker and Putri Yuyun anchored the first newscast with among the first segments was an interview of then-actress Adinia Wirasti by Djenar Maesa Ayu as initially run in partnership with STAR News a subsidiary of STAR TV a conglomerated of Rupert Murdoch a subsidiary of News Corporation and an owner of Hutchison Whampoa with AsiaSat-1 satellite when the other being its arch-rival and sister station's STAR News. it showed news programming from BBC1 and BBC2 in addition to BBC World Service News.

Its schedule consists of some locally made programs in Hong Kong as well as news programmes from STAR News, it signed an agreement with CNN International News it allowing its access to that channel's programming. It also relayed Seputar Indonesia news programme from Indonesian free-to-air terrestrial television channel's RCTI which is also available in Hong Kong.

STAR TV is the based in Hong Kong via based satellite operator, will buy 20 percent of the national network BBC World Service Television giving it a firmer foothold in Asia first most populous country at a time when the British international news television advertising market is booming. STAR TV pay television services are already available on satellite in Southeast Asia.

Following STAR TV acquisition by Rupert Murdoch a owner by News Corporation, STAR TV BBC World Service Television Asia was removed from the satellite beam that broadcast into Hong Kong on 1 March 1994.

In mid-1994, there was a commercial dispute between BBC World Service Television and STAR TV, where the proposed joint venture by the latter was inconclusive and News Corporation didn't pay for the support and services that BBC News provided after over 3 years. As a result, their license for using the name BBC Television would initially expired. At British Broadcasting Corporations request, the deadline was extended twice from 1 February and finally on 30 April 1994. Following that, Rupert Murdoch is asking for a compensation of about HK$102.5 trillion (US$250 million) from the said company. This situation is said to benefit new look and rebranded which may become the next service that completely replaces BBC News. The dispute also cause BBC World Service Television to lose its monopoly to broadcast the STAR News.

BBC World Service Television was removed on movie premiere with split into 1-stations of led "STAR Movies" with both movie premiere satellite channels a subsidiary of STAR TV & member of News Corporation on 1 May 1994 at 00:00 HKT such:

  1. "Fox Movies Premium (was formerly known as STAR Movies)" – is a 24-hours in daily of Hollywood (English) movie channel based in the Hong Kong was backed by 20th Century Fox is a major American film studios a member of the MPAA.
  2. "STAR Chinese Movies (was formerly known as STAR Movies)" – is a 24-hours in daily of Asian (Chinese) movie channel based in the Republic of China (Taiwan) were still copyrighted form Hong Kong with studio by STAR TV Filmed Entertainment, produced by Fortune STAR Entertainment & distributed by Media Asia Entertainment Group based in Kowloon Peninsula on 1993.

BBC World & BBC Prime

The BBC's international operations initially consisted of a single channel – BBC World Service Television on Thursday, 26 January 1995 at 19:00 GMT this was split into 2-television stations:

The organisation subsequently launched localised stations focused on a particular area, such as BBC Food (Scandinavia) and BBC America alongside BBC World and BBC Prime.

In October 2006, BBC Entertainment replaced BBC Prime in Asian markets, and went on to replace it in other territories during the period 2007–09. Other channels being rolled out internationally include BBC Knowledge and BBC Lifestyle, and an international version of CBeebies. The aim of the new launches is to simplify and diversify the BBC Worldwide offering in the digital age. These launches will absorb some channels, such as BBC Food into BBC Lifestyle, though channels focused on a particular local market (such as BBC America or BBC Persian TV) will continue.

BBC World News

On 21 April 2008, BBC World was renamed "BBC World News" a new graphics were produced by the Lambie-Nairn design agency, accompanied with reworked music from David Lowe as part of a £550,000 rebranding of the BBC's news output and visual identity.

On 15 November 2010, BBC Worldwide sold 50% interest in Animal Planet and Liv to Discovery Communications for $156 million.

Joint ventures


In Canada, channels are required by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to have a certain quota of original Canadian content. The following BBC channels are operated in conjunction with Shaw Communications and Knowledge West Communications respectively, with BBC having a 20% stake in each channel.

  • BBC Canada – entertainment channel available in Canada
  • BBC Kids – children's channel available in Canada


BBC Worldwide also operate the UKTV network in the United Kingdom and Ireland with Virgin Media.

BBC Worldwide also provides BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC Alba and BBC World News to providers in Belgium and the Netherlands and around the world.


  1. ^ Foxtel and BBC Worldwide Announce Strategic Partnership
  2. ^ BBC Worldwide Announces UK.TV Acquisition and New Channels in Australia
  3. ^ Parker, Robin (27 January 2014). "BBC Brit unveiled by Worldwide". BroadcastNow. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 

External links

  • TV Channels from BBC Worldwide's 2005 annual report
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