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BBC Prime

BBC Prime is the BBC's general entertainment TV channel in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It broadcasts via satellite and cable, for 18 hours a day, with the remaining six hours being used for educational programmes for BBC Learning.

Owing to rights issues, much of the programming on BBC Prime is from the Corporation's archive. This caused considerable annoyance to many British expatriate viewers, who had much preferred the mix of BBC1 and 2, previously offered by BBC TV Europe and BBC World Service TV. Consequently, many expatriates in mainland Europe, have invested in large satellite dishes to receive BBC One and BBC Two from the UK, which have always been available on cable in the Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, with cable operators clearing programme rights for local retransmission.

However, the BBC argues that most of BBC Prime's viewers are not British, and often may not have English as a first language, hence the availability of subtitles in Swedish, Danish, Hebrew and Polish .

Similarly, in Africa, BBC Prime shows different programmes from the European service, as many have already been licensed to South African broadcasters.

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