Earlier this year TVSA broke the news
that the BBC channels would be undergoing dramatic changes involving the disappearance of both BBC Prime and BBC Food.
We can now report that it's in the process of happening with a scheduled makeover date set for September, 2008.
At the beginning of the month BBC will be launch four new channels on DStv - with a fifth in the pipeline.
On 1 September a new channel called BBC Entertainment will replace BBC Prime and on 2 September BBC Lifestyle will replace BBC Food.
On 3 and 4 September respectively, two new additional channels will launch: BBC Knowledge - a non-fiction channel covering everything from technology to history; and CBeebies - a BBC pre-schoolers channel for children under six.
As the name suggests, BBC Entertainment will feature entertainment shows with a focus on primetime UK drama and comedies. While we haven't managed to get our clutches on the line-up yet we presume the programming will be a more cutting-edge makeover of BBC Prime aka fewer repeats of dated shows with more of what we've been seeing over the past few months e.g. Dancing With The Stars, Life On Mars etc.
As for what's to become of the cookery shows on BBC Food, BBC Lifestyle's a reinvention of the channel that's going to feature cookery shows with the added flavour of shows covering home makeovers, fashion, beauty, health, parenting and design.
While the news hasn't officially been released yet a DStv mole has informed TVSA that a fifth channel's also in the pipeline in the form of BBC Africa - a BBC channel with a focus on and in Africa, with headquarters in South Africa to make it happen. We'll keep you posted as soon as a date's confirmed.
In addition to all the BBC changes DStv will also be introducing two additional channels soon: Nickelodeon - the popular US channel for children aged between 7 and 12; and Jetix - an animated cartoon channel from the Disney fold.
While the channel numbers and dates haven't been confirmed yet, both are scheduled to launch between July and September.
In the meantime these are the channel numbers for the new BBC Channels:
BBC Entertainment: 102
BBC Lifestyle: 180
BBC Knowledge: 251