BBC HD is making its debut in continental Europe following an agreement with the Nordic pay-TV platform Canal Digital. A version of the channel will appear in early December alongside the new BBC Knowledge. BBC Lifestyle and BBC Entertainment will replace BBC Food and BBC Entertainment respectively.
All four channels will be scheduled for the Nordic market and include local subtitling. They will broadcast from Telenor’s One West satellite slot.
Dean Possenniskie, General Manager and SVP EMEA, BBC Worldwide Channels, said the Canal Digital debut followed eight other successful European launches made so far this year. “Scandinavia has always been a priority market for us with local audiences here clearly identifying with the BBC brand and already enjoying the quality programming that the BBC has to offer. I am also delighted that our partnership with Canal Digital will allow us to broadcast BBC HD for the first time in Europe”.
Christian Albech, CEO, Telenor Broadcast Holding said the rebranded portfolio would help strengthen the relationship between Canal Digital and BBC Worldwide: “Canal Digital has been in the forefront of introducing HD in Nordic countries. As the leading TV-distributor in the region we are pleased to be the first to offer BBC HD to our subscribers. BBC sets the standard for quality programming, and with the new channel BBC HD, this attractive content will now be offered in the best quality available.”
The BBC channels, together with CBeebies, made their European debut last December on the Polish DTH platform Polsat. It had been anticipated that their rollout might move at a faster pace, though so far operators have been content to keep with the established duo of BBC Prime and BBC World News.
Canal Digital was the first pay-TV platform in Europe to launch a regular HD service. Earlier this year the monthly fee was dropped and channels placed within the standard channel packages.