BBC - Commercial Activities

Commercial Activities

BBC Worldwide Limited is the wholly owned commercial subsidiary of the BBC responsible for the commercial exploitation of BBC programmes and other properties, including a number of television stations throughout the world. It was formed following the restructuring of its predecessor, BBC Enterprises, in 1995.

The company owns and administers a number of commercial stations around the world operating in a number of territories and on a number of different platforms. The channel BBC Entertainment shows current and archive entertainment programming to viewers in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with the BBC Worldwide channels BBC America and BBC Canada (Joint venture with Shaw Media) showing similar programming in the North America region and UKTV in the Australasia region. The company also airs two channels aimed at children, an international CBeebies channel and BBC Kids, a joint venture with Knowledge Network Corporation, which airs programmes under the CBeebies and BBC K brands. The company also runs the channels BBC Knowledge, broadcasting factual and learning programmes, and BBC Lifestyle, broadcasting programmes based on themes of Food, Style and Wellbeing. In addition to this, BBC Worldwide runs an internation version of the channel BBC HD, and provides HD simulcasts of the channels BBC Knowledge and BBC America.

BBC Worldwide also distributes the 24-hour international news channel BBC World News. The station is separate from BBC Worldwide to maintain the station's neutral point of view, but is distributed by BBC Worldwide. The channel itself is the oldest surviving entity of its kind, and has bases and correspondents in over 200 countries. As officially surveyed it is available to more than 274 million households, significantly more than CNN's estimated 200 million.

In addition to these international channels, BBC Worldwide also owns, together with Scripps Networks Interactive, the UKTV network of ten channels. These channels contain BBC archive programming to be rebroadcast on their respective channels: Alibi, drama; Blighty, British-oriented; Dave (slogan: "The Home of Witty Banter"); Eden, nature; Gold, comedy; Good Food, cookery; Home, home and garden; Really, female programming; Watch, entertainment and Yesterday, history programming.

In addition to these channels, many BBC programmes are sold via BBC Worldwide to foreign television stations with comedy, documentaries and historical drama productions being the most popular. In addition, BBC television news appears nightly on many Public Broadcasting Service stations in the United States, as do reruns of BBC programmes such as EastEnders, and in New Zealand on TV One.

In addition to programming, BBC Worldwide produces material to accompany programmes. The company maintained the publishing arm of the BBC, and is currently the third-largest publisher of consumer magazines in the United Kingdom. BBC Magazines, formerly known as BBC Publications, publishes the Radio Times as well as a number of magazines that support BBC programming such as BBC Top Gear, BBC Good Food, BBC Sky at Night, BBC History, BBC Wildlife and BBC Music. This department included independent magazine publisher Origin Publishing, which BBC Worldwide owned between 2004 and 2006.

BBC Worldwide also publishes books, to accompany programmes such as Doctor Who under the BBC Books brand, and also owns the biggest travel guidebook and digital media publisher in the world, Lonely Planet. Soundtrack albums, talking books and sections of radio broadcasts are also sold under the brand BBC Records, with DVD's also being sold and licensed in large quantities to consumers both in the UK and abroad under the 2 Entertain brand. Archive programming and classical music recordings are sold under the brand BBC Legends.

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