Starting next month, TV viewers in Burma will have several new pay channels, courtesy of the BBC: World News, which airs 24-hour news; Entertainment, which will air shows such as Doctor Who and The Graham Norton Show; and CBeebies, which will air Teletubbies (a group of cuddly characters, one of which is called Tinky-Winky) and other children’s programming. They will launch along with the radio program BBC World Service in Asia on the Forever Group platform.
What’s the Big Deal?
No less a personage than Aung San Suu Kyi has expressed appreciation for the BBC’s radio service, which served as a “lifeline” during her years of house arrest. Global news director Peter Horrocks says of the television channel additions, “It is a great sign of progress for Burma and I’m honoured for the BBC to play a role in opening the country up to the world.” Earlier this year British prime minister David Cameron became the first serving prime minister to visit the country, which was a British colony until it gained its independence in 1948.