Singapore – Upon the expiration of BBC Worldwide Channels’ two-year exclusive agreement with SingTel mio TV, three channels will launch exclusively on StarHub TV. On 1 August 2009, StarHub TV will add BBC Knowledge (channel 74), BBC Lifestyle (channel 83) and CBeebies (channel 31) to its Education Basic Group, Lifestyle Basic Upsize Group and Kids Basic Upsize Group respectively at no additional cost. These three additions will join BBC World News and BBC Entertainment presently offered by StarHub TV, which boasts 527,000 pay-TV subscribers in Singapore. Although only just announced, the decision to move from mio TV, which has around 53,000 subscribers, is believed to have been taken up to a year ago. BBC Entertainment’s future on StarHub TV looked to be in jeopardy when the channel was omitted from StarHub TV’s repackaging at the end of May 2008. Mid-July 2008 saw the matter resolved and the following explanation issued jointly: “StarHub and BBC Worldwide Channels were finalising terms for the continued carriage of BBC Entertainment on StarHub Digital Cable. Negotiations have recently concluded, and we are pleased to inform viewers in Singapore that BBC Entertainment will continue to be carried by StarHub and is presently available as part of the Lifestyle Basic Upsize Group.” It is thought that BBC Worldwide Channels’ commitment to bring BBC Lifestyle, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies to StarHub TV upon the expiration of the two-year exclusive deal with SingTel mioTV may have contributed to ensuring BBC Entertainment’s future with StarHub. “(This) announcement builds on BBC Worldwide Channel’s long-term relationship with StarHub. Strategically, Singapore is an important part of our expansion strategy in Asia,” said Mark Whitehead, BBC Worldwide Channels’ senior vice president and general manager, “We are excited that our entire suite of channels will be offered together on one platform in this key market.” At launch, there will be premieres of the latest series of Top Gear and the new BBC science series Earth – Power of the Planet on BBC Knowledge; brand new seasons of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA, and Gok Wan, British fashion consultant, author and television presenter on Gok’s Fashion Fix on BBC Lifestyle; and In The Night Garden, which is the new multi-award winning series from the creators of Teletubbies on CBeebies.
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