BBC on expansion spree in India, United States
London, Jun 29: The commercial arm of British BBC is in the process of expanding its international activities, which could lead to it starting as many as six channels in the US and India.
It believes that it can boost last year's trading profits of 89.4 million pounds by selling British television, magazines and new media to the world, providing a top-up to its 2.9 billion pounds licence-fee income.
John Smith, the Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide, the commercial business, said that there was scope for 'five BBC branded channels, in addition to news in any major market' offering a mix of content from the BBC and other British broadcasters.
Already it is active in India, where the World Service has been operating for 75 years. Last year, the corporation in partnership with Mid Day Multimedia, won seven FM radio licences in cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, he added Mr Smith said that India was 'looking interesting' but added that there were 'three or four parts of the world where we are putting our focus.'
The new channels will be funded by advertising and will initially be in English. But the BBC is interested in offering foreign language channels 'an echo of the World Service's planned Arab news service' because, insiders say, ''that will help to bring the service closer to the local market''.