BBC Worldwide America president Garth Ancier has told TBIvision that carriage talks with the major cable operators are underway and he plans to have an English-language CBeebies block or channel carried in the US next year.
Ancier exploited the BBC’s strength in news gathering by introducing a regular nightly BBC News show on cable network BBC America and sees kids as another area in which Worldwide can exploit the BBC’s programming strength.
“The next piece that we feel is under developed in the US is BBC kids product,” Ancier said. “With its public service remit the BBC is at the forefront of entertaining, pro-social kids programming and we’re in the process of seeing what we can put together here. It’s likely to be the second half of next year. We’ve done a lot of the leg work, but need some time to process how it will look and to acquire rights.”
BBC Worldwide has been rolling out CBeebies internationally, but this will mark its first foray into the US in English. The Spanish language Latin feed of CBeebies is carried in the US on the Dish satellite TV service. The English-language CBeebies launch will take the form of a block on BBC America or a full-fledged channel on cable.
“We’re already in discussion with the six major operators in the US about carrying the channel,” Ancier said. “We think it would be unique in the US market, with lots of great programming especially in live-action.”