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BBC establishes integrated international news division

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BBC World in the year 2002 successfully completed the ongoing process of digitalisation of the channel in South Asia, which began in October 2001 with the introduction of a digital signal on PAS 10. On 30 September 2002, BBC World switched off its analogue signal on PAS 10 in South Asia and the Middle East. Today BBC World reaches 11 million households in India and is available as a free to air digital channel.

                 

"India will continue to be one of the most markets in the sub-continent both for viewership and revenue."

BBC World dy airtime sales director Sunita Rajan
            

One of the biggest initiatives this year has been to establish an integrated international news division from December. On 1 December 2002, BBC created a single integrated BBC international news and information division - the Global News Division - bringing together BBC World Service and BBC World. The aim of the new division is to create a clearer, co-ordinated presence in the international media marketplace, improving the impact of BBC services and journalism with global audiences. BBC World, the BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour news and information channel, is owned and operated by BBC World, a member of the BBC's commercial group of companies.

BBC World continues to draw on the resources of BBC News, which possesses the world's largest newsgathering operation comprising 2,000 journalists and 57 international news bureaux with 250 correspondents worldwide, together with the world's first fully-digital 24-hour newsroom. Its regional operation in Asia comprises more than 30 correspondents and 16 news bureaux. With these unsurpassable resources, the supply of news and information has never been faster. In the past year BBC News has won 60 awards in recognition of its journalistic excellence. BBC World is today reaching 241 million homes in over 200 countries and territories worldwide (96 million 24-hour homes)

BBC World has made ccontinued investment in new programming for our audiences in India and around the world - FastTrack, Beyond the Boundary, Business Bizarre, Dateline India have been some of the new programmes this year on the channel.

From the advertising point of view there has been sharper product with a stronger offering in every aspect of news, be it news, business, sports, motoring, entertainment, technology, travel and current affairs - the reason for every businessman and opinion former to turn to the channel for not just political news but more.

This year has seen the widening the categories of advertising - more cars, consumer products, telecom advertisers and not just brand/corporate image campaigns. The brand count had gone up and there have been some new advertisers on the channel such as Indian Airlines, Asahi Glass, Louis Phillipe, LG, BSNL, Cannon, Hughes Software, Bharti Cellular to name a few.

BBC World has had some successful Marketing and PR campaigns this year to support the launch of new initiatives and programming on the channels and highlight visits of brand Ambassadors to India such as Jonathan Howlett, Jane Gorard, Narendhra Morar, Jeff Hazell and Tim Sebastian to name a few.

Some recent research shows, BBC World has a 57% viewership share among international news channels among C&S SEC A 25yrs+ for the period October 20 to November 16, 2002 (4 weeks). It reaches more business decision makers and affluents than any other news channel (Decision Makers Survey). It also reaches half of high-income earners (PAX).

BBC World in India is one of the top international news channels. It's ahead of CNN and CNBC, and well ahead of other international news channels such as Sky or Fox news. The average viewer watches for nearly 18 minutes at a time (CNN is 11 and CNBC is 13) - Source: TAM - C&S SEC A 25yrs+ October 20 to November 16, 2002

Recent data from TAM:

September was a high point for news viewership among the domestic news channels, due to major news stories like the rail accident in Bihar and the terrorist attack on a temple in Gujarat. Among the 9 main cities BBC World had the highest reach in 5 cities when compared to the international news channels.

BBC World programmes in the top 9 cities usually dominate the list of top 50 programmes (by viewership) for example in November, 64% of the top programmes among up-market people were BBC World programmes. Among all people BBC World boasted 72% of all top programmes (among international news) in November.

Generally, BBC World claims over half the top 50 programmes each month among international news channels. Asia Today usually does particularly well on a month to month basis, as well as BBC News and Hardtalk always features in the top 50.

Future Outlook and Quote from a spokesperson

According to Ms. Sunita Rajan, Deputy Airtime Sales Director, BBC World's future outlook is, "India will continue to be one of the most important markets, in the Subcontinent, both for viewership and revenue. Next year the channel will continue to invest in relevant programming for the upscale, affluent audiences it attracts in India with more creative opportunities for advertisers to associate with the channel such as Corporate profiles, Vignettes and long form programme sponsorships - many new ideas and a lot of them tailormade for clients. There will be special programming associated with events that are important in the business and sport calendar such as specially commissioned programme series and specials on cricket closer to the World Cup 2003 and the Indian Fiscal Budget. Focus on advertising campaigns from Indian companies looking to export their product and services to international markets such as Europe & Asia Pacific will form part of the BBC World' sales proposition in order to sell our strengths and performance in both of these regions in addition to the local market buys".

Additionally, in the coming year we will be using a syndicated research survey commissioned by BBC World enabling the media industry to understand and buy media more efficiently when targeting the High Net Worth Consumer.

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