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The BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, is reportedly withdrawing its Latino-versioned pay-TV channels including BBC Entertainment, CBeebies and BBC Earth. The channels go dark in April. The news does not affect BBC World News.
“This decision is driven by the growing demand in the market for our shows and will allow us to deliver our Premium content to even wider audiences in the region”, BBC Worldwide explained in a statement.
The BBC statement continued: “We are deeply grateful to our business partners and audiences, who have given us their support, and we look forward to working with our partners to bring our content and brands to all Latin American platforms”.
CBeebies will continue to be transmitted as a linear channel in an OTT service with its content also available via an on-line/mobile App. The BBC Worldwide statement added that the pre-school service will be offered as an SVoD application for Latin America and the US Hispanic markets.
“Available in English and Portuguese in Brazil, in Spanish and Portuguese in the US Hispanic market and in English and Spanish for the other countries. The app has had over 300,000 downloads to date across different markets in the Latin American and US Hispanic regions. The demand for the App grew out of a true recognition of the strength of the CBeebies brand and the demand for its content on other VoD platforms.”
The decision is seen an end to the problems over a conflict between the BBC’s ‘own branded’ channels, and the financial benefits of licensing programming to third-party broadcasters.