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International BBC television channels: Map


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The BBC is forbidden under its charter to directly undertake any commercial operations on-air within the United Kingdommarker, however no such restriction applies to operations in other countries. Therefore the BBC exploits its massive television archive by operating a number of commercial television channels outside the UK through its BBC Worldwide subsidiary.

Some channels are wholly owned by BBC Worldwide, others are operated as joint ventures with other broadcasters.

Wholly owned channels

  • BBC Arabic Television - Arabic television available in the Arab World
  • BBC America - entertainment channel available in US
  • BBC Canada - entertainment channel available in Canada
  • BBC Prime - entertainment channel available in Europe, and the Arab World
  • BBC Knowledge - educational & information channel (not related to the UK-only BBC Knowledge which has been replaced)
  • BBC Entertainment - entertainment channel available in Asia, Africa, Mexico and Poland
  • BBC Kids - children's education & entertainment channel available in Canada
  • BBC Lifestyle
  • BBC Persian - Iranian/Afghan television available in Europe, Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan
  • BBC World News - an International news channel from BBC available in Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and America. Not available in the UK.
  • CBeebies
  • CBBC Channel

Defunct channels

  • BBC Food - Southern Africa/Scandinavia; has been rolled into BBC Lifestyle
  • BBC Japan - an entertainment channel available in Japanmarker, ceased broadcasting in 2006, owing to the closure of its local distributor.

BBC Prime is due to close down by the end of 2009, when the remaining BBC Prime broadcasts are replaced by BBC Entertainment; see the main BBC Prime article for more information.

History and markets

The BBC's international operations initially consisted of a single channel - BBC World Service TV. In 1995 this was split into two stations - the news-led BBC World (now BBC World News) and formatted entertainment, leisure and factual channel BBC Prime.

The organisation subsequently launched localised stations focused on a particular area, such as BBC Food (Scandinavia) and BBC America alongside World and Prime.

In October 2006, BBC Entertainment replaced BBC Prime in Asian markets, and went on to replace it in other territories during the period 2007-09. Other channels being rolled out internationally include BBC Knowledge and BBC Lifestyle, and an international version of CBeebies. The aim of the new launches is to simplify and diversify the BBC Worldwide offering in the digital age. These launches will absorb some channels, such as BBC Food into BBC Lifestyle, though channels focused on a particular local market (such as BBC America or BBC Persian TV) will continue.

Joint ventures

With Alliance Atlantis

In Canadamarker, channels are required by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to have a certain quota of original Canadian content. The following BBC channels are operated in conjunction with Alliance Atlantismarker.

  • BBC Canada - entertainment channel available in Canada
  • BBC Kids - children's channel available in Canada

With Discovery Channel

The following BBC channels are operated in conjunction with Discovery Channel.

With Foxtel and RTL

BBC Worldwide operates the following channels, formerly in a 20% joint venture with Foxtel (60%) and RTL (20%), but as of July 1, 2008, in a 100% ownership capacity:


BBC Worldwide also operate the UKTV network in the United Kingdommarker and Irelandmarker with Virgin Media Television.

BBC Worldwide also provides BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC Prime and BBC World News to cable providers in Belgiummarker and the Netherlandsmarker.


  1. Foxtel and BBC Worldwide Announce Strategic Partnership
  2. BBC Worldwide Announces UK.TV Acquisition and New Channels in Australia

External links

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