BBC plans global channel with Teletubbies and Tweenies

LONDON – BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm, is considering launching its own global children's television channel to capitalise on the success of popular BBC programmes such as 'Teletubbies', 'Tweenies' and 'Fimbles'.

BBC Worldwide will take on US broadcasters such as Disney-owned Jetix and Viacom-owned Nickelodeon, if the new channel is given the go-ahead.

BBC Worldwide currently operates 19 channels in the UK and abroad, including BBC America, BBC World, BBC Food, BBC Kids and nine UK TV channels that it co-owns with Flextech.

It is possible that the BBC will expand on its existing operation, BBC Kids, which launched in Canada three years ago as a joint venture with Canadian producer Alliance Atlantis, although no potential partners have been revealed.

A BBC Worldwide spokeswoman said: "It is still early days but there is definitely the potential to work with a partner to create a global kids' TV channel."

BBC director general Mark Thompson unveiled the results of the corporation's internal review yesterday and said there were opportunities for growth in global channels and sales with other UK broadcasters.

The corporation also revealed that initially 2,900 jobs are to be axed, with up to 5,000 to go in total over three years. CBBC, CBeebies, Radio Five Live and BBC Sport among other departments are to be moved to Manchester in an attempt to reflect the regions on its programmes.

BBC Worldwide, widely reported to be sold off to the highest bidder, escaped Thompson's cull.

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