BBC grows in Taiwan, Indonesia


SINGAPORE--BBC Global Channels will launch its first subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service in Asia this month in a deal with Chunghwa Telecom of Taiwan, a senior executive said Wednesday.

The deal in Taiwan represents the first BBC-branded high definition channel outside of the U.K. and comes a day after BBC Global Channels' announced its first carriage deals in Indonesia, Christine Leo-McKerrow, senior vp and general manager for Asia-Pacific said.

In Taiwan, the BBC platform will begin 24-hour broadcasting by the middle of this year with will offer 10 three-hour programming blocks at any one time, and will be broadcast in English with traditional Chinese subtitles.

Genres will include drama, comedy, natural history, music and the arts.

The Chunghwa agreement "illustrates that our brand and packaging are flexible enough to deliver content to viewers the way they choose to use it," Leo-McKerrow said.

Chunghwa's multimedia on-demand service had 394,000 subscribers at the end of last year, according to the company. The telco also has 4.25 million broadband subscribers via ADSL and fiber-to-the-home networks.

In Indonesia, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies will be carried on the basic tier of Indonesia’s largest direct-broadcast satellite platform, Indovision, as well as on Indovision's two new services – TopTV and OKevision – giving the channels access to about 250,000 households.

Leo-McKerrow said both channels would be localized by September this year. BBC Knowledge will carry Bahasa Indonesia subtitles, and CBeebies will be dubbed.