BBC launches two channels in India

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NEW DELHI -- BBC Worldwide on Wednesday launched two channels here, BBC Entertainment and children's channel CBeebies, which are being distributed via News Corp.'s direct-to-home service Tata-Sky.

In late March, New Delhi-based Indian Information and Broadcasting Ministry director Arvind Kumar confirmed that the ministry had officially cleared the BBC's proposal to launch the two channels, which went to air Wednesday as 12-hour services, with a dual-language feed in Hindi and English.

The channels will showcase original programming from the BBC and other British production houses.

"The economic growth in India has been explosive with the media and entertainment industries playing an integral par," said Darren Childs, managing director, BBC Global Channels. "Recent research reveals that India's DTH operators will top Japan's next year, that India will lead the Asian cable market by 2010 and that the region will be the most lucrative pay TV market by 2015."

Tata-Sky is a joint venture between News Corp.'s U.K.-based direct-to-home service BSkyB and Mumbai-based Indian business conglomerate Tata Group.
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