In her first appearance at CASBAA since joining BBC Worldwide in February this year, Bennett will also officially unveil new channel launches in Taiwan and Indonesia.
In a wide ranging discussion, Bennett will set out the Channels business’s immediate priorities for Asia, including new market launches. BBC Worldwide will launch BBC Knowledge, BBC Entertainment, BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies in Thailand January 2012.
In Taiwan, BBC Worldwide Channels has concluded a deal with Chung Hwa Telecom to launch BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle and BBC Entertainment on MOD, the company’s IPTV platform. This is the first appearance for the channels in Taiwan, and they will be unveiled to press in Taipei on 23rd November.
Growing the portfolio in existing markets: In Indonesia, BBC Lifestyle is now available on NexMedia, joining BBC Knowledge and CBeebies in that fast-growing market.
Serving audiences with the best content: 1st November sees the launch of Lonely Planet on BBC Knowledge, the ultimate destination of travel-related programming. Arctic with Bruce Parry will launch the new block at 2105 (SIN/ HK), and Free Rein – an original commission for BBC Knowledge from Lonely Planet’s production arm – will premiere in December.
Starting with season 18 which begins early next year, Top Gear will air on BBC Knowledge within two weeks of going out in the UK.
Bennett is one of the most experienced figures in the television industry, having built a career running award-winning channels and productions in the UK and the US. Until 2011, she was Director of Television at the BBC, having spent eight years overseeing all the BBC’s domestic TV channels and digital services. During this time, she launched a number of the world’s best known television programmes, such as Strictly Come Dancing (known internationally as Dancing With The Stars) and Planet Earth, and backed the revival of Doctor Who.
Speaking to Sky Television’s David Speers, Bennett will discuss the growth of BBC Worldwide’s channel portfolio in Asia – BBC Knowledge, BBC Entertainment, BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies. She will highlight the strong performance of factual brand BBC Knowledge, and preschool network CBeebies, both currently ranking ahead of all competitors in Indonesia.
Bennett will herald tomorrow’s premiere of the Lonely Planet-branded block of programming on BBC Knowledge in Asia, bringing to fruition plans first announced in June to integrate the travel brand into BBC Worldwide’s international channel portfolio. The Lonely Planet programming zone will provide a dedicated home for the channel’s most compelling and immersive travel programming, and follows a similar move in March to provide a natural destination for the channel’s flagship natural history programming with the launch of BBC Earth.
As part of her broad vision for the international channel portfolio – which includes plans for global television events, growing the business’s slate of original programme commissions and bringing the best British content to the world – Bennett will reveal for the first time that Top Gear, the world’s most popular motoring show and a local favourite, will from next year be available on BBC Knowledge within two weeks of airing in the UK.
In addition, Bennett will discuss BBC Worldwide’s broader digital ambitions, describing the ongoing trial of the global BBC iPlayer, the company’s subscription, on-demand service, currently available in 15 countries. She will state the company’s ambitions for the service, share insights into consumer behaviour and take a wide look at how businesses are working to deliver their content to audiences.
Jana Bennett will be speaking to David Speers during the “Talking TV” session between 0900 and 1000 on Tuesday 1st November, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong.