Two BBC channels to go off air in India by Nov-end

BBC Worldwide will close down the India feeds of BBC Entertainment and CBeebies, citing delays in the digitization process and the “challenging” economics of operating pay-TV channels in the country.

A statement on the Facebook page of BBC Entertainment India on Thursday said that BBC Worldwide confirmed the closure of two of its branded channels in India. BBC Entertainment and CBeebies are to be withdrawn and would go off the air by the end of November 2012.

BBC World News, the BBC’s international news and current affairs channel, will remain available to our Indian viewers, the statement .

“The decision to withdraw these BBC channels has not been an easy one to take. India is a dynamic and fast-growing media market, but remains uniquely challenging for pay-TV channels. Specifically, delays in digitization and the need for channel operators to pay cable platforms for carriage makes the economics of running channels very challenging at this time.”

Thanking its staff in India, Singapore and the UK, who had worked on BBC Entertainment and CBeebies, and viewers, the statement said, "We believe India is an exciting market and in the event of changes in the options available to us, we would certainly consider relaunching our non-news channels in the market."

The BBC Entertainment India website and its Facebook page will continue to be updated on a regular basis until the channels are formally withdrawn, the company said.

BBC Entertainment featured British drama and comedy programmes, while Cbeebies broadcast programmes for children. Both channels were launched in India in June 2009.

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