The BBC is to roll out Lonely Planet-branded programming blocks on its international BBC Knowledge channels from November 1, building on previously announced plans to integrate the travel brand into BBC Worldwide’s (BBCWW) international channel portfolio.
The Lonely Planet block on BBC Knowledge will provide a dedicated home to the channel’s travel programming, including Free Rein, a new title commissioned by BBCWW Channels from Lonely Planet’s production arm and Freehand.
The program follows Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward (The Thorn Birds) as they set out on an adventure across The Kimberley, “the Outback’s last frontier.” Also destined for the new program block in 2012 is new series Year of Adventures, as previously reported, starring Ben Fogle and based on the Lonely Planet book of the same name.
Currently filming in Wales, Europe, the U.S. and Australia, the series is a Lonely Planet TV and BBC Bristol production for BBCWW Channels.
Jana Bennett, president for BBCWW networks and global BBC iPlayer, said: “This dedicated home on BBC Knowledge marks a major step in our development of Lonely Planet as a television brand.
“BBCWW will continue to support its growth through these programming blocks and through specially commissioned Lonely Planet productions. We hope that in time, the brand can evolve into a standalone television channel.”
The new block will roll out across all of BBC Worldwide’s localized BBC Knowledge feeds around the world – Poland, Africa, Italy, the Nordic Region (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), Australia, New Zealand and Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea).
In India, the block will feature on BBC Entertainment, as part of the multi-genre schedule that airs in that market. The news comes after BBCWW took full ownership of the Lonely Planet brand in February this year, having held a 75% stake in the firm since 2007.