BBC asserts largest intl news channel in Asia Pacific status

MUMBAI: BBC World has been named the largest international news channel across four key markets in Asia Pacific, according to peoplemeter data for February 2004 in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea.

BBC World has the biggest audience share and viewers watch the channel for longer than any other global news network.

The BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour news and information channel has a 50 per cent share of international news channel viewership (of the three channels, BBC World, CNN and CNBC Asia) among the people in Asia Pacific measured in the Nielsen Media Research - as much as CNN and CNBC combined.

Among the AB social class and PMEBs (professionals, managers, executives and businessmen), BBC World also leads with 46 per cent.

Viewers watch BBC World for longer than either of its two main rivals. Each viewer spends an average of 56 minutes per week tuned into BBC World, and the average upscale viewer 79 minutes, both far longer than results for its competitors.

The research shows that BBC World's total weekly reach in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea had grown from 967,000 in October to 1,024,000 in February. This is an increase of six per cent; BBC World is the only news channel to show a rise. Of that figure, 531,000 - more than half - are "exclusive" viewers, who tune in to BBC World but do not watch CNN or CNBC at all.

BBC World head of research and planning Jeremy Nye says, "These impressive results confirm and update growth seen in the Pan Asia Cross Media Survey [PAX] and Asian Target Market Survey [ATMS]. We've been conducting our own research in Asia and Europe to try to understand what is contributing to this growth. It reveals the increasing salience to our viewers of such long-term global problems as conflicts, corruption, hunger and lack of education, and attempts to alleviate them. It also finds that viewers in Asia value channels with a global agenda and in-depth coverage - hence the popularity of BBC World."

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