BBC Prime to become BBC Entertainment

BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, will rebrand its BBC Prime channel to BBC Entertainment later this year.

From November, the general entertainment channel will be renamed BBC Entertainment across Europe and the Middle East. As well as the name change, BBC Worldwide will double the number of hours of fresh programming on the channel to 800, including dramas This Life +10 and Mine all Mine as well as comedy shows Lead Balloon and The Omid Djalili Show.

Dean Possenniskie, general manager and senior vice-president EMEA BBC Worldwide Channels said the move would help to give the brand consistency across its key markets. “We feel we can strengthen and improve the channel using the BBC Entertainment branding,” he said. “It will look and feel a lot fresher and stronger and will help to tighten up the proposition of the channel. We will focus much more in terms of programming on the best of entertainment, including drama, comedy, formats and soaps.”

BBC Prime launched in 1995 and is currently available in 12 million homes across Europe and the Middle East. BBC Entertainment first launched as a fully localised channel in Asia in 2006 and has since launched in India, Poland, Africa, Scandinavia and Latin America. The rebrand of BBC Prime to BBC Entertainment will bring the channel in line with BBC Worldwide Channels’ global portfolio of BBC-branded thematic channel brands – BBC Entertainment, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies and BBC HD.