BBC Entertainment to wind down in Central/Eastern EuropeBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 8 December 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC EntertainmentBBC Worldwide have announced the closure of BBC Entertainment for a number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The standard definition channel, which replaced the former BBC Prime in the region in 2009, is itself being phased out in favour of the high definition BBC First which is being steadily rolled out across global markets.

Doctor Who has been shown on the channel across Europe almost without a break since its rebranding (with Love & Monsters being the first under the new banner), and as other local channels slowly ended contracts BBC Entertainment became the place to see the programme in those countries that received it - its widespread accessibility across the continent contributing over a third of the Guinness World Record broadcasting achievement for The Day of the Doctor on the show's 50th Anniversary! The final scheduled broadcast for this year will be The Time of the Doctor in the early hours of Monday 28th December (the episode also being the channel's Christmas Day choice).

The launch of BBC First in those regions has yet to be announced. It is unclear whether the European channel will broadcast older series of Doctor Who in the same way as BBC Entertainment, or whether it will just broadcast current series such as Series Nine has been in the Benelux and South African regions this year (with the latter showcasing the show on its launch in October).

The press release in full:
BBC Entertainment will close across Central & Eastern Europe from 1 January 2016.

We would like to thank the BBC Entertainment audience for their support, but as the roll-out of our new BBC channels gathers pace and certain carriage agreements come to an end in some markets, the channel is not sustainable across CEE markets. BBC Worldwide’s focus is on our new genre brands - BBC First, BBC Earth and BBC Brit.

Central and Eastern Europe remains a priority market for BBC Worldwide. We are continuing to invest in our presence across the region and recently launched our premium factual brand BBC Earth as a linear channel in Romania, Hungary and Slovenia.

BBC Worldwide has strong partnerships with local free to air broadcasters, Pay TV networks and digital platforms in the region. Many BBC programmes will continue to be seen through these providers in Central & Eastern Europe.

The channel will close in the following regions: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Viewing of BBC Entertainment in UAE, Turkey, Israel and Western Europe remains unaffected.

BBC Entertainment in Latin America ceased broadcasting Doctor Who earlier this year, with the rights to broadcast Doctor Who passing to SyFy next year.

FILTER: - BBC Worldwide - Broadcasting - International Broadcasting