Originally Posted by mj786
From June 15, BBC World, the BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour news and information channel, will turn pay and encrypted.
Gerry Ritchie, regional director of distribution and business development, Europe, Middle-East & South Asia for BBC World explains said, "As a commercial channel, the transition from 'free-to-air', to a subscription model is a natural progression for BBC World in South Asia. This change is in response to the dynamic and rapidly expanding cable TV and DTH satellite market across the region."
Amit Upadhayay, head of distribution and business development, South Asia for BBC World, based in Mumbai, India adds "The Indian distribution market, in particular, is emerging as a substantial subscription market for both Indian and International broadcasters. We have received a very encouraging response from our distributors who are supportive of our decision. They feel the channel is a strong brand with longevity in the market as it serves an important and influential audience across the region."
Integrated Receiver Decoders (IRDs) will be made available to key MSO's, cable operators and hoteliers in South Asia to facilitate the move to an encrypted signal and from 'free-to-air' to subscription. BBC World is currently available to 15 million households and 60,000 hotel rooms in India and the channel's advertising sales have grown from strength to strength, with the year 2005 witnessing a record performance in its airtime sales revenues.
Currently, BBC World is on Prasar Bharati's DTH, but it will be off the platform after turning pay. Prasar Bharati's DTH carries only free-to-air channels. BBC World is in talks with other DTH platforms such as the Dish TV for carrying the channel.
According to DMS 5, BBC World reaches 35% of decision makers in India and within that audience set, among the 'real' decision makers such as Chairmen, CEO's/MD's, the channel's reach increases to 57%. The channel offers viewers a truly international news agenda and a truly global perspective and its audiences in India remain robust and loyal.