Israel’s cable platform HOT has reached a last minute agreement with BBC Prime to keep the entertainment channel on the network. New contracts have also been established with Hallmark, Eurosport News and National Geographic’s Adventure One.
The agreements followed a heated period of negotiations after content costs spiralled to NIS800 million (€146m) in 2006. HOT CEO David Kaminitz said he wanted to bring amounts down to “sane levels” and blamed international broadcasters for the rise.
BBC Prime has secured an agreement that will keep it on the HOT platform until the end of the decade. Although the channel has accepted a reduction in its carriage fee, a spokeswoman for BBC Prime said it would not have been prepared to accept terms that would have devalued the channel or made it unfeasible to stay on the HOT platform.
“The overwhelming support BBC Prime received from subscribers and viewers absolutely contributed to these successful renegotiations. We are thankful to everyone who made themselves heard; grateful to all those viewers and journalists who spoke out – a testimony to the power of the consume,” said the spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, BBC Prime is to introduce a daily CBeebies block aimed at children up to six years old. The new block will run between 05.30 and 09.00 CET from February 3. It will join the existing children’s block CBBC and comes as BBC Worldwide is looking to launch a dedicated children’s channel internationally. (JC)