BBC World News, BBC Entertainment, CBeebies and BBC World Service in English to be available from 1 January 2013 

(Monday, 17 December, London) The BBC and BBC Worldwide today announced the inaugural launch of three of its pay TV channels in Burma – BBC World News, BBC Entertainment and CBeebies.

BBC World News is the BBC’s commercially-funded international 24-hour news and information channel.  BBC Entertainment showcases the very best of British light entertainment, drama and comedy; and CBeebies is a channel designed for pre-school children and provides a high-quality, interactive, entertaining and educational experience for them, offering them a safe haven in which to learn about, and enjoy, the world around them.

All three BBC TV channels, together with BBC World Service in Asia in English, will launch on Forever Group’s pay TV platform in Burma on 1 January 2013.

The BBC has a long history of providing vital news and information to Burma, via BBC World Service. Since its first broadcast in 1940, BBC Burmese has been an essential source of information for people living in Burma, as well as for the Burmese diaspora. The launch of these pay TV channels and the BBC World Service global English radio, will see this programming potentially reach around 250,000 homes in Burma on Forever Group’s pay TV platform.

One of two major private broadcasters in Burma, Forever Group is one of the earliest digital TV broadcasters in the region and broadcasting in DVB-T and DVB-T2. Forever Group is also extending its digital TV network all over the country using the DVB-T2 system.

Mark Whitehead, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BBC Worldwide Channels Asia, said: “I am pleased to be able to announce the launch of the BBC channels in Burma.  We are very pleased to be part of Burma’s growing economy, and excited to be delivering our wide range of highly rated and award-winning programming – from programmes specially designed for pre-schoolers, to the best of UK comedy and drama and high quality international news to new viewers.”

Peter Horrocks, Director, Global News, said: “For many years, the BBC has delivered accurate, impartial international radio services to the Burmese people, serving as a vital lifeline service to Aung San Suu Kyi and those across the country. I’m so pleased that the BBC is now able to take the next step forward with the country to offer that same impartial news via television as well. It is a great sign of progress for Burma and I’m honoured for the BBC to play a role in opening the country up to the world.”

Mr. Winn Maw, CEO of Forever Group Co. Ltd, commented: “We are thrilled to be partnering with BBC Worldwide. High quality content is a key factor in driving our subscription growth, and we are confident that BBC World News, BBC Entertainment and CBeebies, together with BBC World Service radio will make Forever Group’s international line-up even stronger,”

More information on the channels:

BBC World News, the BBC’s commercially funded international 24-hour news and information platforms, is owned and operated by BBC Global News Ltd, a member of the BBC’s commercial group of companies.  BBC World News is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and over 350 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms. The channel’s content is also available on 152 cruise ships, 40 airlines and 23 mobile phone networks. For further information on how to receive BBC World News, download schedules or find out more about the channel, visit bbc.com/tvschedule.

BBC Entertainment showcases the best comedy, drama and light entertainment from the BBC and other UK production houses.

The channel is exclusive destination of The Graham Norton Show, with multi-award winning comedy talk-show host, Graham Norton and features his trademark comedy monologues, interesting celebrity chats, eccentric stories and characters. The talk show is broadcast just two weeks after its UK telecast.

BBC Entertainment is also home to Doctor Who, the longest running science fiction TV in the world, and the most successful in terms of ratings, DVD book sales, iTunes traffic and downloads.

CBeebies is UK’s number one children’s channel, loved by kids under six, and by their parents and carers.  Inspired by preschoolers’ natural curiosity and zest for play, programming on the channel is designed by developmental experts to appeal to and suit the developmental needs of distinct age groups.  The channel delivers a safe, interactive experience, and delivered by the trusted BBC brand, to promote imaginative play, social interaction, language skills and educational values.

Come January, CBeebies’ viewers in Burma will be able to catch a new series of Andy’s Wild Adventures - a live action animation series which sees park keeper Andy and his cat Kip embark on exciting adventures, travelling the world in their flying buggy – KipMobile, a high-spec, all-terrain, flying vehicle  -for encounters with a whole array of animals in their natural habitats.

Preschoolers and their carers will also be able to watch internationally-acclaimed and award-winning household favourites such as Teletubbies, In the Night Garden, Charlie & Lola, Numtums and Mister Maker.

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster, delivering a wide range of language and regional services on radio, TV, online and via wireless handheld devices. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 180 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. Its news sites include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. BBC World Service offers its multilingual radio content to partner FM stations around the world and has numerous partnerships supplying content to news websites, mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices as well as TV channels. For more information, visit bbcworldservice.com.

BBC Burmese radio programming is broadcast on shortwave and on PAS10 and Palapa satellite television channels and streamed online via the website bbcburmese.com.  BBC Burmese is part of BBC World Service.

BBC World News, BBC Entertainment and CBeebies will be available on the basic tier of Forever Group’s platform. BBC World Service will be available on the radio service of digital receivers.

For more information on BBC’s pay TV channels in Asia, please visit www.bbc-asia.com