BBC Worldwide today 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The channels are to be withdrawn and will stop airing by 30 November 2012. BBC World News will remain available in India and continue to grow its distribution in the market, according to BBC.
BBC Worldwide Channels had made the pan-Asian feeds of CBeebies and BBC Entertainment available in India from June 2009. The channel BBC Entertainment dedicated for India was relaunched 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 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."
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 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.
BBC Worldwide also operates a TV production business, a content syndication business and Lonely Planet in India.
"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," said Whitehead.
BBC Entertainment is available in Asian territories like: Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand.
CBeebies is available in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines.