BBC World preferred channel for Middle East 'business decision makers'

MUMBAI: If 'evolved' viewers in India prefer to watch BBC World, then it is the 'business decision makers' in the Middle East who favour the channel. The results from a new syndicated survey conducted in the UAE and Saudi Arabia show that BBC World has the biggest daily and weekly reach of any international news channel amongst business decision makers (BDMs).

The PAX survey, conducted by Synovate, now covers 13 countries across the Middle East, South Asia and Asia-Pacific, and has attracted support from most international TV media channels and major advertising agencies.


BBC’s daily reach amongst BDMs is 5.8 per cent, and its weekly reach is 10.2 per cent. On the other hand, CNN’s daily and weekly figures by comparison are 4.8 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively. More than half of BBC World’s weekly viewers do not watch CNN.

BBC World’s weekly viewing totals in three categories were not only longer than for CNN viewers, but gave BBC World a larger overall share. Those defined as top management viewers watched BBC World for four hours 37 minutes per week; BDMs for three hours 24 minutes; and overall viewers for two hours 58 minutes.

As in markets elsewhere in the world, BBC World attracts an upmarket audience. PAX Middle East shows 59 per cent of BBC World viewers being business decision makers (compared to 49 per cent overall); 26 per cent of its viewers taking three or more air trips a year (13 per cent overall); and 18 per cent defined as top management (12 per cent) overall.

The channel also scored highly amongst those defined as “opinion formers”. BBC World had a weekly reach of more than 40 per cent amongst people undertaking three or more opinion-forming activities per year, such as making an executive decision on overseas operations, or being the subject of a media interview.

"It’s wholly appropriate that, as the region connects increasingly with the global marketplace, we now have internationally recognised data that lends comparability with other key marketplaces internationally. This will support the growing international commercial appeal of the region and validate the growing interest in BBC World," said BBC World’s regional manager for airtime sales, Middle East and Pakistan Hani Soubra.

The Synovate PAX Middle East survey is the first independent syndicated survey examining upscale consumer behaviour in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with business decision makers defined as the top 10.9 per cent of the population by a range of measures including income. The total sample size was 2,200 people from a universe of 1.1 million, interviewed face-to-face in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam in Saudi Arabia, and in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE. Research was conducted between January and June 2004.

"We’re committed to learning as much as we can about our viewers through independently-conducted, syndicated research. Unlike national surveys, PAX Middle East covers the upscale group which is our benchmark for audience measurement around the world, and the study confirms our faith in BBC World as being the first choice amongst discerning news viewers," says BBC World’s head of research Jeremy Nye.

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