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BBC Prime

From Academic Kids

BBC Prime is the BBC's general entertainment TV channel in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It was launched in January, 1995, and began broadcasts in Africa in March, 1999. A version of the channel was launched in Asia on December 1st, 2004. It broadcasts via satellite and cable, for 18 hours a day, with the remaining six hours being used for educational programmes for BBC Learning.

Owing to rights issues, much of the programming on BBC Prime is from the Corporation's archive. This caused considerable annoyance to many British expatriate viewers, who had much preferred the mix of BBC One and Two, previously offered by BBC TV Europe and BBC World Service Television. Consequently, many expatriates in mainland Europe, bought viewing cards to receive BBC One and Two from the UK. This continued even after the BBC switched to broadcasting unencrypted on a satellite with a much weaker signal, as many people in Spain already had large satellite dishes.

However, the BBC argues that most of BBC Prime's viewers are not British, and often may not have English as a first language, hence the availability of subtitles in Swedish, Danish,Norwegian, Czech language, Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, Italian and Hebrew.

Similarly, in Africa, BBC Prime shows different programmes from the European service, as many have already been licensed to South African broadcasters, while in Asia the programming is completely different, to take account of time zones and cultural differences. Currently only available in Hong Kong and Thailand, BBC Prime's Asian service will become available on local cable and satellite services in other countries in the region, with subtitles in local languages. A similar channel, called BBC Japan, launched in Japan on December 1st, 2004.

BBC Prime was also retransmitted by GBC in Gibraltar as a terrestrial service until 1999, when the availability of the BBC's domestic UK channels via satellite made this unviable.

External link

pl:BBC Prime sv:BBC Prime

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