LONDON: The UK's state-funded broadcaster, the BBC, is launching two new channels in India later this year.

According to The Times newspaper, the broadcaster's BBC Worldwide commercial arm is to distribute a children's channel, CBeebies, in Hindi and English, and BBC Entertainment in the sub-continent.

The venture will initially export British programs but, if successful, could produce home-grown content in the future.

Comments MD of global channels Darren Childs: "You could see Indian versions of familiar soap operas. We're trying to change how we approach the international channels business and fit things into a local market perspective rather than push them out from London."

BBC Entertainment, which will feature adult dramas, will earn revenue via advertising and subscription fees, but the children's offering is to be commercials-free to differentiate it from mainly US rivals.

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff