BBC World Service audience touches 183 million

MUMBAI: BBC World Service now claims to have more listeners than any other international radio broadcaster, with an increase in its audience to a record 183 million, a rise of 20 million on the previous year.

According to the annual review for BBC World Service, audiences rose in the Middle East, the wider Islamic world and Africa.

BBC World Service on FM is available in 152 capital cities, up from 150 last year. The report says BBC's international news websites attracted a record 763 million page impressions in March 2007, up from 546 million compared to March 2006. Around the world, there were a record 38.5 million online users in March 2007, up from 32.8 million a year ago.

BBC Global News services ? which include BBC World Service, the BBC World television channel and BBC international online news sites - attracted a record global weekly audience of over 233 million during 2006 - 2007.

BBC World Service director Nigel Chapman says, "Audiences overall are going up in some of our biggest markets in Africa and Asia, including India, Pakistan and Nigeria. This is a significant achievement because these markets too are highly competitive and such large numbers are always vulnerable to rapid falls. But English language audiences for radio dropped back in parts of Africa, contributing to a decline from 42 million to 38 million in the global English radio total. Official discouragement of partnerships which would enable us to broadcast English programme material on any scale in Nigeria is a major obstacle.

"In Bangladesh, troubled by political unrest, the weekly audience figure almost doubled in a year, demonstrating once again how listeners return to the BBC at times of crisis. In Afghanistan, the first nationwide survey showed that there were 10 million listeners a week, 60 per cent of the adult population.

"The work of our technical teams enables BBC World Service to compete effectively in some of the world's toughest environments. Five sites are now solar powered to keep them on the air independently of local supplies?.

"It is clear that a tri-media approach, combining radio, television and online is essential if BBC World Service is to compete in the multi-platform digital age." But it is a more mixed picture in other regions. The difficulties we can face as markets develop are apparent in Latin America and parts of Eastern Europe, such as Romania and Ukraine, where burgeoning choice has led to a decline in our audiences. In Russia, distribution problems in a difficult political climate have been a further setback, leading to the loss of FM services in Moscow and St Petersburg and a decline in listening to under one million. In China, poor access to BBC news content in what is now a bustling aggressively competitive market has resulted in a further loss of audience.

?The silver lining is the success of new online partnerships in China, including one deal with a key national portal. They offer access to BBC educational material and 90 per cent of the traffic to BBC content in China now comes from these partner deals.

"The worldwide growth in online audiences, led by the BBC's international news site, has steadied and it is recognised we need to build this audience further in the coming years. The spectacular growth rate of the early days of the internet is much harder to achieve now that most initial adopters of the technology have found us. As in China, we are building partnerships with major portals to showcase our work better and increase traffic.

"Continued investment in technology will be necessary for us to compete in a world where the ability to find and share information and content is fundamental. In the most sophisticated markets, the generation growing up with social networking sites such as YouTube and MySpace takes sharing video content for granted. We have taken significant steps this year with the launch of broadband video news in six languages and new sites for downloading content to mobile devices."

He added, ?Everything from audio and video technology for reporters in the field to the way programmes are put together and distributed is now being digitised, giving us the flexibility to deliver programmes in new ways. The opening of the Production House of the Future at Bush House which is a digital production space is a first, showing the way forward for the whole of the BBC and other media organisations. Investment in production centres overseas has brought us closer to audiences. More than 30 per cent of BBC World Service's production staff is now based in the countries to which it broadcasts.

Preparations to launch BBC Arabic Television in the autumn of 2007 were on track and its staff will be the first part of BBC World Service to occupy the new Broadcasting House centre that we will eventually share with all the BBC's domestic news operations. The go-ahead for a Farsi television service announced in October 2006, was very welcome, he said.

"In this far-reaching transformation of our activities, one thing which is not changing is our commitment to traditional BBC values, starting with the quality of programmes. The past year has been one of further innovation in programme making, helping audiences to make sense of a world that is increasingly globalised and interconnected. Generation Next gave a voice to the under-18s who are often neglected in the mainstream media. India Rising offered a deep insight into winners and losers in this booming Asian economy. Business Daily shed new light on long-term trends taking place behind the world of work?.

Latest Reads
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) extends exclusive television and digital rights partnership with ABB FIA Formula E championship

Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) will continue to broadcast each round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for a further two seasons across the Indian sub-continent - including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Television TV Channels Sports
James Gough’s innovative idea will be incubated with the intent to prototype it at Formula 1®’s Media & Technology Centre

Formula 1® Managing Director of Motorsports, Ross Brawn, and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Driver, Lewis Hamilton, today crowned James Gough the winner of this year’s USD $50,000 F1® Innovation Prize at the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI 2018 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX in Austin.

Television TV Channels Sports
FLIX FIRST SCREENING: &flix makes October spookier with the multi-city theatrical premiere of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

&flix, the all-new destination for the most-awaited Hollywood blockbusters, brings the much-anticipated sequel Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween on Thursday, October 25

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
BIG Ganga Goes All Out to Delight Its Audience This Festive Season, Launches Engrossing Range of Shows

With the festive season right around the corner, BIG Ganga, the number one Bhojpuri channel in the Hindi heartland

Television TV Channels GECs
Time Maharashtra.....Feel The Pulse of Maharashtra

Viasys Digital Network Pvt. Ltd, under the leadership of founder chairman Mr. Sudesh Bhosle brings together a blend of Media and IT skills bagged by a deep understanding of Global Media.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

As the country gears up to celebrate the symbolic victory of good over evil, EPIC makes the day special for their viewers by airing special programming for the festival of Vijayadashami.

Television TV Channels Factual @ Discovery
A+E Networks | TV18 launches FYI TV18 HD

AETN18, the joint venture between A+E Networks and Network18 has planned to launch the high definition (HD) version of the contemporary lifestyle entertainment channel—FYITV18 on 18 October 2018.

Television TV Channels Specialised and Niche
Tata Communication, European Tour show how VR can transform golf

The European Tour and Tata Communications have completed the world’s first test of live 360° video in 8K Ultra High Definition – the highest resolution in digital television on 16 October 2018.

Television TV Channels Sports
Kids most benefited genre in Chrome DM week 41

MUMBAI: With a growth of 0.72 per cent as compared to last week (40), the kids genre marked the highest opportunity to see (OTS) among all categories in week 41 of Chrome Data Analytics & Media. In the kids genre, Nickelodeon gained the highest OTS with 91 per cent in All India 1 Lakh+ market....

Television TV Channels Viewership

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories