BBC Worldwide Channels is to launch a dubbed version of BBC Knowledge, the first in Western Europe, following a new agreement with Mediaset. The channel will be added to DTT pay pack Mediaset Premium Gallery on March 1, 2011 and around 100 hours of content will be made available on demand.
Alongside Discovery World, which is launching on the platform at the same time, BBC Knowledge will help Mediaset broaden its portfolio that already features movies, TV series, children’s programmes and of course football.
“Mediaset saw an opportunity for a factual channel in Italy and, although it skews towards males, BBC Knowledge appeals to a wide demographic,” Ian McDonough SVP and General Manager, BBC Worldwide Channels, EMEA told Broadband TV News, adding that a considerable amount of material had been dubbed especially for the new channel. “Dubbing is more expensive than subtitling, but this is a channel we are confident about. It’s a very big market and a fantastic opportunity.”
The BBC has been present in the Italian market for the past six years with BBC World News, but last year BBC Entertainment was dropped by DTH platform Sky Italia.