BBC Worldwide has shut down CBeebies and BBC Entertainment, two branded entertainment channels of BBC, in India. The channels were withdrawn by putting a halt to its airing on 30 November, 2012. However, BBC has decided to retain BBC World News in the Indian market where it will grow in distribution.
BBC Worldwide had started airing pan-Asian feeds from the channels CBeebies and BBC Entertainment from June 2009. BBC Entertainment India was launched again in January 2011, making it exclusive for India, offering the best of BBC and British content from a variety of genre.
According to Mark Whitehead, senior general manager and vice president of BBC Worldwide Channels Asia, it was a hard decision for BBC to shut down CBeebies and BBC Entertainment in the Indian market. He said that even though India is a fast-evolving media market, it poses a lot of challenges to pay TV channels. He added that the financial expenses of running a channel is a bit high in India at the moment due to the impending delay in digitization. He also attributed the reason to the requirement of channel operators to pay the cable platforms for their service of carriage.
He thanked the teams in India, UK and Singapore who worked behind CBeebies and BBC Entertainment and also its viewers. He ensured a smooth transition for the staff behind these channels.
BBC, however, is still committed to India by airing its international news channel, BBC World News, across Indian media market. The websites bbc.com and bbchindi.com are also available. A new programme, Global India, was launched last month by BBC Hindi TV on five ETV channels.
The programme, which airs prime time, has Rupa Jha from BBC Hindi as its lead presenter. The 30-minute show brings to the table the best of BBC journalism around the world with focus on stories that find resonance with Indian audience.
Apart from these ventures, BBC makes its presence felt in India through TV production business, Lonely Planet and content syndication business.
BBC Entertainment is currently aired in the Asian countries Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. CBeebies is available for the countries Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea and Philippines.