Documentary Channel to relaunch as BBC Knowledge in NZ

BBC Worldwide will re-launch New Zealand’s Documentary Channel as BBC Knowledge next year, in a major step forward in the development of its global branded channels business.

BBC Knowledge will join BBC Worldwide’s other channels on the SKY platform – BBC World News and UKTV – to create a bespoke factual content offering geared towards the needs of New Zealand audiences.

BBC Knowledge is an award-winning, entertaining factual destination that is already a successful channel in more than a dozen territories around the world. It has quality content presented by talented and passionate experts such as Louis Theroux, Paul Merton, Bruce Parry, Michael Palin and Ray Mears.

“Creating a tailored factual offering specifically for New Zealand tastes and preferences is at the very core of our content strategy.  BBC Knowledge will have local flavour and local relevance,” said Tony Iffland, BBC Worldwide Australia’s General Manager.

“We look forward to engaging with the local production sector to discuss content acquisition and other opportunities to bring New Zealand content to New Zealand audiences. With three channels now in the market, this is a brilliant opportunity to showcase the diversity and depth of our content.”

 “BBC Knowledge has so much in common with the Documentary Channel  – they are both the homes of challenging, trustworthy content that is as entertaining as it is informative,” said Richard Driver, owner of the Documentary Channel. 

“It’s been a difficult decision to decide to sell the channel that I’ve established and cultivated to its present level of success, but I know that BBC Worldwide will only build on its achievements and audiences.”

“New Zealanders have a strong appetite for quality documentary programming, which has already been demonstrated by the success of the Documentary Channel,” added Karen Bieleski, SKY Television’s Head of General Entertainment and Prime. “We are delighted to be working with BBC Worldwide to re-launch this expanded version of the channel, with even richer content and the solid backing of the BBC’s exceptional programming output.”

This deal demonstrates BBC Worldwide’s commitment to the New Zealand market, based on a strong New Zealand affinity to its content and its long-established presence as a provider of quality channels.

It will build on the success of UKTV, the country’s most popular general entertainment subscription channel, and of BBC World News, the destination of choice for thousands of New Zealanders looking for authoritative and up-to-the-minute global news coverage.

BBC Worldwide’s distribution business continues to work closely with New Zealand networks to provide access to award-winning content across all genres. Its other established businesses in New Zealand extend across digital, live events, magazines and DVD publishing.

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