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BBC Worldwide to launch 3 new global brands first in South Africa

MUMBAI: South Africa is the first country in the world to launch all three of BBC Worldwide’s new global brands.

BBC Worldwide has announced that BBC Brit, BBC Earth and BBC First will launch on MultiChoice’s DStv platform in South Africa, making it the first pay TV platform in the world to launch all three of its new global genre brands.

BBC Brit and BBC Earth will be available from 1 September and BBC First will follow on 18 October.

The upcoming launch marks the debut of the brands on a new continent and follows the successful European debuts of BBC Brit and BBC Earth in Poland, the Nordics, Hungary, Romania and Turkey earlier this year. BBC First launched in Australia in mid-2014 and in Belgium and The Netherlands earlier this year. BBC Earth will launch in Latin America on 1 September and in Asia on 3 October.

In South Africa, BBC Entertainment and BBC Knowledge will be replaced with BBC Brit and BBC Earth with an increased investment into new content, while BBC First will launch as a new channel in the region. The new channels will sit alongside BBC Lifestyle, CBeebies and BBC World News.

BBC Brit offers premium factual entertainment that is intelligent but irreverent. Male-skewing but with broader appeal, it blends expertise with entertainment and fact with fun. The channel will become the exclusive home of ‘Top Gear’ and covers subjects: cars, science, adventure, business, life-changing moments, extreme characters, quirky eccentrics and comedy. BBC Brit will be available to DStv Premium, Extra and Compact customers on channel 120.

BBC Earth aims to inspire audiences by sharing the wonders of our universe. The channel showcases the work of the world’s foremost factual film makers as it seeks to take audiences on a thrilling journey of discovery. From the smallest creature under the microscope to the limitless expanses of space, BBC Earth brings viewers face to face with action, ideas and the wonder of being human. BBC Earth will be broadcast in HD and will be available exclusively to DStv Premium customers on channel 184.

Meanwhile, BBC First is the home of British drama. Showcasing talent in front of and behind the camera, it delivers audiences the first chance to see stories that challenge, immerse and entertain, all with a unique British perspective. BBC First will be available on channel 119 exclusively to DStv Premium customers.

BBC Worldwide president global markets Paul Dempsey said, “BBC Brit, BBC Earth and BBC First bring together some of the world’s biggest names and best programme-makers in three brilliantly curated, high quality channel brands. The channels capture what’s special about British TV and our South African launch marks an important step in the company’s global strategy as we continue to inspire audiences with distinctive, premium programming.”

BBC Worldwide GM, VP Africa Joel Churcher commented: “South Africa is the first market in the world to receive all three new brands. The content hosted on these channels is designed to reach a diverse pan-African audience, reflecting a wide range of voices, ages and cultures. Our African viewers clearly have a deep affection for BBC programming, and as a leading content distributor, we will continue to deliver high quality, premium content to our channels for many years to come.”

MultiChoice South Africa COO Mark Rayner commented, “Our DStv customers will be delighted with the addition of even more compelling BBC content. We’re constantly looking for ways to bring more value and premium entertainment to our customers – by being the first platform in the world to exclusively offer these three channels, just shows our level of commitment to that promise.”