BBC to launch another 30 digital channels

November 14th, 2007 - 8:06 am ICT by admin  
They will include services in the US and Asia and feature shows such as Doctor Who and Top Gear.

Critics have hit out at these spiralling ambitions, claiming it is behaving more like a global media empire than a public service broadcaster.

They fear as a broadcaster, the BBC is losing sight of its remit and is in danger of stifling competition.

Politicians claim the BBC should be concentrating on its core UK commitments like news and current affairs, at a time when it is making swingeing cuts.

The aggressive expansion by the corporation’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide comes on top of 21 channels already launching this year.

Bosses want to challenge the big media companies such as Viacom, owner of MTV and Turner, which owns CNN.

According to the Daily Mail, the plans come as the BBC is axing 2,500 posts and showing more repeats to plug a two billion pound shortfall in cash after a lower than expected licence fee deal.

The BBC’s aggressive expansion plans include four branded video-on-demand channels in the US and a high definition channel there. There will be new channels in Malaysia and the Philippines, on top of the 10 channels already launched in Asia in five months.

Two channels in Latin America are due to launch this year as well as services in Africa.

The BBC claims that the success of its commercial arm reduces the burden on the licence fee payer.

BBC Worldwide has been tasked with doubling its profits to at least 222 million pounds within five years. (ANI)

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