THE BIG DEBATE BURSTS BACK - WITH REDI TLHABI

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

BBC Worldwide says its new channels BBC Brit and BBC Earth are 'instant winners' with DStv subscribers; response from audiences 'very promising'.


BBC Worldwide says its rebranded BBC Brit (DStv 120) and BBC Earth (DStv 184) global genre channels in South Africa launched with strong overnight ratings during the channels' first week on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in the first week of September.

According to DStvi/Kantar audience ratings, BBC Brit was up 83% in all day share under LSM 7-10 males and showed a 173% improvement in this demo during daytime viewing compared to the 2015 viewership of BBC Entertainment which the channel was previously known as until the end of August.

BBC Worldwide says BBC Brit "overtook established rivals to rank in the top three of its international broadcaster competitive set for key audiences" in terms of overall share.

BBC Worldwide didn't provide similar information for BBC Earth which replaced BBC Knowledge but said BBC Earth reached "the highest proportion of audiences in its key competitive set for LSM 8-10" and that the ratings ranking of the new channel - now available in HD on DStv, "rose by four places" compared to BBC Knowledge during its final week in August.

BBC Worldwide calls BBC Brit and BBC Earth "instant winners".

"I'm delighted with BBC Brit and BBC Earth's performance so far," says Joel Churcher, the general manager and vice president for Africa at BBC Worldwide.

"The response from South African audiences is very promising and we're looking forward to seeing the channels continue to grow over the coming months."

The third new channel, BBC First will launch on 18 October on DStv.

There's been unhappiness from DStv subscribers on lower tiered subscriptions who are upset at MultiChoice's "restructuring" of the BBC bouquet.

Angry DStv subscribers feel that the new realignment of channels means they won't get the content that used to be on BBC Entertainment, since its replacement, BBC First, will be a premium channel for DStv Premium only.

DStv Extra subscribers are losing access to shows like Downton Abbey and Doctor Who that's moving to BBC First. The quality kids channel CBeebies is however opened to DStv Compact subscribers that was previously only for DStv Premium.

South Africa is the first territory in the world to launch all three of BBC Worldwide's new genre brands and follow the successful European debuts of BBC Brit and BBC Earth in Poland, the Nordics, Hungary, Romania and Turkey earlier this year.

BBC First launch in Australia in mid-2014 and in Belgium and the Netherlands earlier this year. BBC Earth launched in Latin America on 1 September and will launch in Asia on 3 October.