BBC World Service weekly audiences in India grow by one million

MUMBAI: BBC World Service's weekly radio audience estimate is 182 million listeners a week across its 33 language services ? down one million on last year's record 183 million total.

However the English language service attracted 40 million weekly listeners ? up two million on last year. BBC World Service weekly audiences in Indian and Nigerian radio markets each grew by around a million or more during the year. BBC World Service is now available on FM in 154 capital cities, up from 152 last year.

The BBC World Service has published its annual review. In his foreword, BBC World Service director Nigel Chapman said, "It was a broadcasting year that saw the launch of the first BBC television news channel for a decade, improvements to our future media services, and the retention of our global radio listenership after the large increase of the previous 12 months.

"In these ways, 2007/08 can be seen as a defining year; we demonstrated our ability to innovate while retaining the affection of audiences, who have been loyal to us for a large part of our history."

BBC World Service is further developing its multimedia strategy, including the launch of BBC Arabic television. Independent research indicates that BBC World Service's reputation for providing unbiased and objective news and information is stronger than that of any other international radio competitor in virtually all markets surveyed.

BBC World Service's online sites attracted a record 259.6 million page impressions in March 2008, compared to 189.8 million in March 2007, an increase of 37 per cent.

BBC Global News services ? which include BBC World Service, BBC World News television and (the BBC's international-facing online news site) ? maintained its record global weekly audience of over 233 million during 2007/08.

BBC World Service's Grant-in-aid funding for 2007/08 was ?255 million.

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