BBC Worldwide to open South African office

Rebecca Hawkes | 25-11-2013

xThe BBC is to open a South African division to boost local programming, content sales and digital delivery, with recruitment already underway for a Johannesburg-based regional manager.

BBC Worldwide, the UK broadcaster's commercial arm, operates a portfolio of BBC channels including BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, CBeebies, and BBC World News on MultiChoice's DStv pay-TV platform across sub-Saharan Africa.

Ian McDonaugh, executive vice president of BBC Worldwide, said the confidence the UK broadcaster has in the growing South African market and its strong relationship with DStv has prompted the decision, according to the Independent Online.

The BBC's audience share has doubled in the five years since the BBC channels were launched in South Africa on DStv, says McDonaugh, who claims BBC Knowledge has also recorded 26% share in 2013.

The first priority for the new regional manager will be to consolidate the broadcaster's success, build on local commissioning success such as Come Dine With Me South Africa, and develop content sales to other broadcasters.

Developing the BBC's presence in the rest of Africa will be another important facet of the new role, McDonaugh told local journalists at a BBC Worldwide Upfront event in Johannesburg.