BBC Worldwide expands HD footprint

By Robert Briel
October 6, 2009 11.26 UK

Mipcom 2009 – Cannes. BBC Worldwide Channels hopes to announce distribution agreements for BBC in three more European market before the end of the year.

This year, BBC America HD was launched and a second HD channel for the Australian market is planned, said Darren Childs, managing director.

In those markets where Worldwide has its fully localised channels, the broadcaster is doing very well in terms of audience share. In South Africa the bouquet is the best watched of all international channels, as is the case in Poland.

The broadcaster will put more emphasis on local ad sales rather than transborder advertising. Worldwide opened a sales office in the US 18 months ago and will now open a local sales office in Warsaw. The aim is to increase income from advertising from the current 5% to around 30% if the total income.

For the BBC, Poland is a prime example of how well localised versions can do with viewing shares well ahead of the competition. All four channels are fully versioned. Distribution is exclusively on Polsat for DTH with 2.5 million homes and further distribution via a number of cable operators.

In terms of distribution, Worldwide will put extra effort in France and Italy, said Dean Possenniskie, General Manger & SVP EMEA.