launch of BBC HD Channel

Passengers on P&O Cruises and Cunard Line will be the first to enjoy BBC TV content with the launch of a new BBC channel exclusively for ships -- BBC HD.

The new channel broadcasts a variety of BBC content including popular soaps such as Eastenders, Holby City and Casualty, as well as nature documentaries and comedy shows such as Alan Carr's Chatty Man. The shows will be available on BBC HD as soon as possible after their broadcast in the U.K.

It is BBC Worldwide's first channel produced exclusively for cruise ships and the wider maritime market. It is available now across the P&O Cruises and Cunard fleets, and will eventually be rolled out to other Carnival U.K. brands and the wider cruise industry.

BBC HD complements BBC World News, which launched on MTN TV in 2010 and is available on cruise ships throughout the world.

One of the main challenges the company had to overcome was time zones, explained Zina Neophytou (pictured above), Vice President, Out of Home, BBC Worldwide.

"How do we broadcast post-watershed content when the ships are all over the world? We have put together a funny promo which warns viewers that any content can be broadcast at any time of day." There will also be ratings ahead of each programme warning of profanity, violence and adult content.

P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Paul Ludlow, said: "We are delighted that our guests will be able to travel the world but still keep up with their favourite television shows for that touch of home. BBC HD will be a superb addition to our in cabin entertainment and I am sure will be welcomed by our guests on both P&O Cruises and Cunard."

Ms. Neophytou added: "There has always been a strong demand for BBC content within the travel and hospitality sectors including cruise ships so launching a bespoke global entertainment channel on MTN TV alongside BBC World News is an obvious step. BBC HD will be the one-stop shop for the best of British TV content."

--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor