Of course, from WETA-TV’s (Washington, DC) prmotional reel, this sounds as if it will be a Washington Metro item, not national in the US (as f now). The programming sounds as if it is similar to what BBC America offers, without the commercials. It is also a digital Television channel, which means it is a separate feed on the broadcasting spectrum.
WETA’s FAQs on the channel answer the question Isn’t WETA UK just another BBC America?
Absolutely not. WETA UK is a unique independent channel programmed specifically by WETA for its members and viewers. The channel features the kind of entertaining and intelligent programming that historically has been popular with WETA audiences. While WETA UK features programming from British networks; it is not affiliated with a British television entity.
Of course, that gets a vote from me, although, it will be publicly funded (as is the REAL BBC). In some ways, this sounds to me as if it is far more worthy of the title BBC America than the Discovery Channel Subsidiary of the same title. That is it will be non-commercial and may be a bit more cutting edge than BBC America.
Although, this sounds as if it may result in turf wars between the US rights holders for BBC material. Not to mention that BBC America is national, whereas this will be a WDC institution.
Of course, this may not have the Euro imports one sees on the actual BBC (see my previous post on Nordic Noir). I though there was supposed to be competition in the marketplace for this material and who provides it. Again, some of the things shown on the real BBC don’t make it officially to the US market (he Killing AKA Forbrydelsen).
Part of me likes the idea, but this sounds as if it is yet another attempt to provide the type of service the BBC does. I prefer that this is non-commercial, although it will be interesting to see how this will be funded.
Best of luck WETA.