SPN had entered into a partnership with BBC Worldwide in 2015
Image: Toby Melville / Reuters
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) on Wednesday announced the launch of their premium factual entertainment channel, Sony BBC Earth in India.
SPN had entered into a partnership with BBC Worldwide in 2015 and got regulatory approvals in February this year for the joint venture. Starting March 6, 2017, the channel will be available in four languages English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu and reach over 500 million of SPN viewers across India.
Sony BBC Earth will feature programmes from iconic naturalist Sir David Attenborough and other personalities like Steve Backshall, author, broadcaster and writer, Ben Fogle and award-winning wildlife cameraman, presenter and film maker, Gordon Buchanan.
“Nurtured as a JV partnership, Sony BBC Earth, combines the strengths of both partners; including fascinating content, estimable brand equity and superior sales and distribution prowess,” says NP Singh, chief executive officer, SPN, India.
“By working with a respected local partner of the caliber of Sony Pictures Networks, we look forward to bringing BBC Earth’s world class content to a new audience who we know has a huge appetite for premium factual programming,” adds Paul Dempsey, President Global Markets, BBC Worldwide.
The factual entertainment space is India has been a hotbed of action lately. In February, Discovery Communications announced plans to ramp up their local content to 200 hours by the end of 2017 from the five hours currently. The US-based broadcaster A+E Networks and their local partner Reliance Industries-owned TV18 launched a factual entertainment channel, FYI, in India. It also operates another factual entertainment channel, History TV18, in India.
Sony BBC Earth has roped in Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan as its brand ambassador in India. (Disclaimer: Reliance Industries is the owner of Network18, publisher of Forbes India)