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BBC World News
BBC World News white.png
Launched 11 March 1991
Owned by BBC
Picture format 16:9 SDTV
Audience share Available in:
282 million homes
1.6 million hotel rooms
57 cruise ships
42 airlines
34 mobile phone platforms
78 million viewers per week (June 2008, [1])
Slogan This is only BBC World, Television BBC International News Channel
Demand a Broader View
Making Sense of It All
Putting News First
International News Television
(2008 – present)[2]
Country United Kingdom (for external consumption only)
Language English
Broadcast area Worldwide (except most of the United States)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Formerly called BBC World Service Television
BBC World
Sister channel(s) BBC News
Digital, in Italy LCN 44
Hot Bird 6 12597 V / 27500 / 3/4
Hispasat 1C 12012 V / 27500 / 3/4
Astra 1L 11597 V / 22000 / 5/6
Thor 2 11325 H / 24500 / 7/8
Badr 4 12073 H / 27500 / 3/4
Nilesat 101 11766 H / 27500 / 3/4
SKY Italia (Italy) Channel 520
HiTV (Nigeria) Channel 03
Cyfrowy Polsat Channel 134
Indovision (Indonesia) Channel 332
Digital+ (Spain) Channel 75
Bell TV (Canada) Channel 510
Shaw Direct (Canada) Channel 501
Astro Malaysia Channel 512
Tata Sky (India) Channel 536
Dialog TV (Sri Lanka) Channel 2
TrueVisions (Thailand) Channel 72
SKY Network Television (New Zealand) Channel 093
SelecTV (Australia) Channel 101
TVB Pay Vision Channel 62
SkyLife (South Korea) Channel 528
CanalSat (France) Channel 58
Digiturk (Turkey) Channel 122
Dream Channel 21
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 649
MEO (Portugal) Channel 204
SKY Latin America Channel 631 (Mexico)
Channel 99 (Brazil)
DStv (South Africa) Channel 400
TV Vlaanderen Digitaal (Belgium) Channel 51
Channel 147
UPC Ireland Channel 206
StarHub TV (Singapore) Channel 13
Rogers Cable (Canada) Channels 37 and 194 Digital (Analogue is channel 45)
Shaw TV (Canada) Channels Vary
Cable TV (Hong Kong) Channel 75
HiTV (Nigeria) Channel 3
Global Destiny (Philippines) Channel 27
SkyCable (Philippines) Channel 29
OneLink Communications (San Juan, Puerto Rico) Channel 74
TelstraClear InHomeTV (New Zealand) Channel 93
First Media
Channel 230
Parasat Cable TV
Channel 15
TrueVisions (Thailand) Channel 43
Foxtel Digital (Australia) Channel 606
Kabel Deutschland (Germany) Channel 838
RCS&RDS (Romania) Channel 53
UPC Romania Channel 424
TV di FASTWEB (Italy) Channel 520
TrueVisions Channel 72
TV di FASTWEB (Italy) Channel 88
FreeBox TV (France)
TELUS TV (Canada) Channel 96
now TV (Hong Kong) Channel 320
MEO (Portugal) Channel 204
Internet television
Livestation (Free, 502 Kbit/s)

BBC World News is the BBC's international news and current affairs television channel. It has the largest audience of any BBC channel and any news channel in the world. Founded in 11 March 1991 as BBC World Service Television outside Europe (the name was changed to BBC World in 1994 and to BBC World News in 2008), it broadcasts for 24 hours with programming including BBC News bulletins, documentaries, lifestyle programmes and interviews. Its main global competitor is CNN International, though it also competes with other major news broadcasting companies. It employs more correspondents and reporters than any other news channel and has more international bureaus. It is the world's most watched news channel, ahead of CNN, and also one of the most watched channels in the world.

The channel is transmitted by Red Bee Media from their network centre at the Broadcast Centre within the BBC Media Village, part of the BBC White City, in White City, west London. All news output originates from studio N8 in the nearby Television Centre. The BBC World News newsroom is part of the BBC's Global News Hub, set up in the summer of 1994. The BBC World News newsroom provides output throughout the day. From 0100–0500 the channel BBC News is also based in this studio.

Previously, the channel was broadcast in 4:3, with the news output fitted into a 14:9 frame for both digital and analogue broadcasting, resulting in black bands at the top and bottom of the screen. On 13 January 2009 at 09:57 GMT, BBC World News switched its broadcast to 16:9 format, initially in the European Region through the Astra 1L satellite[3], and Eutelsat Hot Bird 6 satellite but to other feeds broadcast in the Asian region from 20 January 2009.

Unlike the BBC's domestic channels, BBC World News is not funded by a license fee, instead, it is funded commercially by advertising.

BBC World News was named Best International News Channel at the Association for International Broadcasting Awards in November 2006.[4]

On 21 April 2008 the channel changed its name from BBC World to BBC World News as part of a £550,000 rebranding of the BBC's news output, including a new visual identity. The channel later moved into the renovated former studio of the BBC News channel.



The channel originally launched as BBC World Service Television, though unlike BBC World Service radio which has always been government funded, the British government refused to extend the Foreign Office grant-in-aid. It was launched on 11 March 1991, after two weeks of real time pilots, initially as a half-hour bulletin once a day at 1900 GMT. The programme editor was Johan "John" Ramsland. The original picture editing team consisted of Bob Scholes, Peter Hodge & Mike Casey.

In 1 January 1994 BBC World Service Television split into two stations: BBC Prime-an encrypted entertainment channel requiring subscription, and the free to air BBC World-concentrating on news and current affairs. Since 1994, the service has gone through several branding changes. From 1994 to 1997, the channel used few graphics to display the name of the channel, with the actual news studio modelled on that used for BBC News in the United Kingdom.

As part of the major relaunch of the image of the BBC including a new logo for the corporation in 1 July 1997, the channel received its first main refresh. Various fictional flags with some real were used. The idents were computer generated and developed by the Lambie-Nairn design agency.

Another large relaunch for BBC News came in 1999 with all output, both in the UK and for BBC World globally having a uniform look made up of red and cream. Music based on a style described as 'drums and beeps' was introduced, composed by David Lowe, a departure from the general orchestral versions of other news programmes.

In 2003 a second makeover, using the same 'drums and beeps' style music but new graphics took place, although on a much smaller scale to that of 1999. The music was changed slightly while the main colour scheme became black and red, with studios using a frosted glass, white and red design for colourings. Later in 2004 the channel's slogan became Putting News First, replacing Demand a Broader View.

In 2008 the channel was renamed BBC World News. New graphics were produced by the Lambie-Nairn design agency, accompanied with reworked music from David Lowe.


BBC World News is most commonly watched as an free-to-air (FTA) Channel. The channel is available FTA in Italy, via digital terrestrial television, and in all parts of Europe and many parts of the world FTA via satellite. (It was also available via terrestrial FTA in Berlin from c. 2000 to March 2007). Although not officially available in the UK it is available to people who point their satellite dishes at Astra 19.2°E, Hot Bird and Thor, the Middle East Feed is also available to UK residents through Badr/Arabsat. In most of the world, it is carried on nearly all satellite and cable platforms.

BBC World News is available online through the website of Dong-a Ilbo, a Korean newspaper,[5] but this stream cannot necessarily be viewed from all countries (inaccessible from the USA as of October 2007).

It is also available online through the subscription service RealPlayer Plus and online live-streaming service Jalipo. In Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates it is additionally available as a subscription mobile phone service, having also been available as a terrestrial channel.

Outside of the United States and the United Kingdom, the channel can be watched for free as a live Internet stream through Livestation. Internet users with IP addresses that appear to be from the United States or the United Kingdom are prevented from streaming the channel, as Livestation does not have rights to provide this service to users in these countries.

A daily version of its news bulletins are also rebroadcast on many FTA terrestrial channels like in New Zealand, where it is carried overnight on TV ONE, and in Trinidad and Tobago where it is carried overnight on TV6.

In Europe, analogue satellite broadcasting via Hot Bird 6 ceased on 18 April 2006 at midday, although its digital free-to-air signal is replicated on Hot Bird 6, Hot Bird 7A, Thor 2 and on Astra 1KR.

It is also available 24/7 in Australia on Foxtel, Austar and Optus Television as well as the Telstra NextG phone network. In New Zealand, it is also broadcast via satellite on SKY Network Television and via cable on TelstraClear.

In Asia, it was originally carried on STAR TV, the pan-Asian satellite television service based in Hong Kong, which was later acquired by Rupert Murdoch, but switched to PanAmSat in 1994. It is also available on Astro in Malaysia, originally part of the Astro News channel lineup before being a stand alone channel in 2002. In India it was FTA till 15 June 2006 but is now a pay channel.

BBC World News has been available in Africa on DStv since late 1995, and its bulletins have also been rebroadcast on South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) terrestrial channels in South Africa. In 1996, it became available in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In Canada, the channel is available on Bell TV and Shaw Direct satellite services, as well as on most digital cable services. Shaw Cable and Rogers Cable carry the channel as part of their analogue cable packages.[6] The Canadian news channel CBC Newsworld also carries a BBC World newscast from 6 to 6:30 p.m. daily.

BBC World News is not widely available on cable/satellite services in the United States, but a 2006 agreement with Discovery Networks (which is a partner in BBC America) announced it would seek distribution for the channel. American viewers used to be able to watch selected BBC World bulletins on BBC America and over 200 PBS stations, but on 4 April 2009, BBC World News was dropped from BBC America.[7] It was also reported in the New York Times in April 2008,[8] that some PBS stations have dropped BBC World News after being told by BBC executives that the BBC had made it "pretty clear that the future of the BBC was not intertwined with public broadcasting."[8]

Since BBC World News's inception in 1995, the BBC sought carriage for the channel on US cable and satellite systems. It took 11 years for a US distribution deal to be signed, a deal with Discovery Communications that was announced on 25 January 2006. In September 2006, Cablevision in the New York City metropolitan area agreed to retransmit the channel and was the first company to carry BBC World News. The channel is part of Cablevision's iO Digital Cable service, channel 104.

BBC World News on other cable systems

Verizon FiOS: Channel 107 (All regions)

Cox Communications: Channel 252 (Northern Virginia)

Grande Communications: Channel 122 (Texas)


United Kingdom

The channel is not officially available as a stand-alone, full-time channel in the United Kingdom, on the grounds that it carries and is funded by advertising (BBC's domestic channels are funded by a television licence fee which households and establishments that want to watch television programmes as they are being broadcast must pay), although it can be easily received due to its free-to-air status on many European satellites. The BBC inserts UK news summaries and weather forecasts in lieu of commercial breaks for any programme simulcast on BBC News Channel and BBC One.

However there is a simulcast of the 0500UK edition of BBC World News on BBC One and the BBC News channel, followed by an edition of World Business Report. This programme was previously branded as The World Today.

On weekdays BBC World News also produces a version of World News Today at 1900 British Time. The first half hour of this programme can be seen in the UK on BBC Four. The edition of the programme replaced The World, which had been broadcast as a simulcast on the channel between 2002 and 2007.

The first half hour of BBC World News America is time shifted and shown at 0030 British Time on the BBC News channel.

From 0100 British Time until BBC World News at 0500, the two channels simulcast and the half hour bulletins are branded simply BBC News. Headlines shown on these bulletins at the bottom of the hour are cut short on BBC World News as UK stories are in-line to be presented on the domestic service. At 0300 World News Today is shown as part of the simulcast for an hour from Washington, Singapore and London. Programmes differ at the bottom of the half-hour except for the 0300 edition of World News Today. The overnight simulcast is often also broadcast on BBC One or BBC Two.

Because BBC World News is available on several European satellite systems 'free-to-air', including Astra and Hotbird, the channel is 'available' to anyone in the United Kingdom who sets up their own dish to point at one of these satellites.


Live news programmes:

  • BBC World News - The latest international news from the BBC.
  • BBC World News America - Comprehensive news and analysis with Matt Frei (Mon-Thu) and Katty Kay (Fri). Broadcast from the BBC's Washington D.C. Studio.
  • Business Edition - Tanya Beckett (Mon-Wed) and Jamie Robertson (Thu-Fri) combine the day's main business stories with the most significant global news.
  • GMT - George Alagiah (Mon-Thu) and Stephen Sackur (Fri) present the latest news developments from across the globe, with updates on business and sport.
  • Impact Asia - Global news as it affects audiences in Asia. Mishal Husain presents breaking news, debate and analysis, using the full range of BBC Correspondents from the Asia Pacific nations and across the world.
  • The Hub - Nik Gowing assesses the days events with his trademark rigorous interviewing and detailed analysis, alongside a summary of the days news as it affects audiences in South Asia and the Middle East.
  • World News Today - The news programme for audiences who want more depth to their daily coverage. With a focus on Europe, Middle East and Africa, Zeinab Badawi (Mon, Thu-Fri) and Kirsty Lang (Tue-Wed) bring context and understanding to the most complex of events. Lyse Doucet also presents an addition on Fridays.

Other live programmes:

  • Asia Business Report - Live from Singapore the essential business news as it breaks and a look ahead to the news that will shape the business day.
  • Asia Today - The daily current affairs programme aimed at viewers across Asia with in-depth reports from BBC correspondents and interviews with leading players.
  • Sport Today - All the latest sports news and results from around the globe.
  • World Business Report - The latest business news with informed analysis from the world's financial centres

Pre-recorded programmes include:

  • Africa Business Report - A monthly look at business across the continent, talking to the people and businesses who are changing the economic face of Africa.
  • Click - A comprehensive guide to all the latest gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news.
  • Dateline London - Foreign correspondents based in London give their views on the week's international news.
  • E24 - James Dagwell presents a weekly look at the world of arts and entertainment.
  • Equestrian World - More than competition, Equestrian World concentrates on the spirit of the sport and the lifestyle surrounding it.
  • Fast Track - The series with the latest news about travel, from the industry itself to advice on the latest deals and destinations for people travelling on business or for leisure.
  • Final Score - Ray Stubbs and a panel of guests bring you results, tables, interviews and reaction from today's Barclays Premier League, Football League and SPL games.
  • HARDtalk - Stephen Sackur talks to newsmakers and personalities from across the globe.
  • India Business Report - India Business Report will provide an indispensable guide to the big stories to watch out for in the week ahead.
  • Intelligance Squared Debate - monthly debates from a panel of experts.
  • Middle East Business Report - Getting behind the issues of trade, business and economics in the Gulf, to reveal how this important economic region works and interacts with the rest of the world.
  • Newsnight - Jeremy Paxman looks back at the best of the week's films and discussions from Newsnight.
  • Our World - Features the BBC's finest news programmes on current issues around the world. The documentaries showcase BBC journalism at its best with programmes that expose and evaluate global topics.
  • Peschardt's People - Former BBC Senior Foreign Correspondent Michael Peschardt takes a closer look at the lives of some of the most interesting and influential personalities across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Reporters - A weekly showcase of the best reports from the BBC's global network of correspondents.
  • Spirit Of Yachting - Explores some of the most exciting events in the world of sailing.
  • Talking Movies - Tom Brook presents all the latest news and reviews from the US cinema scene with reports from Hollywood and New York.
  • The Bottom Line - The view from the top of business, presenting a clearer view of the business world, through discussion with people running companies.
  • The Doha Debates - Each month in Qatar invited speakers debate the burning issues of the Arab and Islamic world in front of an audience who are encouraged to participate by asking questions.
  • The Record Europe - An in-depth look at the politics of Europe presented by Shirin Wheeler. (only shown in Europe)
  • The World Debate - Puts the important questions to representatives from global politics, finance, business, the arts, media and other areas. The panels and contributing audiences discuss topical themes.
  • This Week - A weekly showcase for reports from the BBC's network of over 250 global correspondents.
  • UK Report - A weekly showcase for reports from the BBC's network of reporters and correspondents across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.
  • Weekend World - Presented by BBC broadcaster Paddy O'Connell, Weekend World is a lively look at viewers' comments on World News programmes and a brief snapshot of what's coming up at the weekend.

BBC World News

Half-hour BBC World News bulletins are made available to PBS stations in the United States through KCET in California. 80 to 90% of Americans are able to receive them, though broadcast times vary between different localities, with it airing on several PBS stations in markets such as New York City and Washington, D.C..

On PBS stations, BBC World News does not appear with commercials (the breaks are replaced with news stories) but omits the Met Office international weather forecast at the end, replacing it with underwriting announcements. The PBS airings are tape-delayed on some stations.

BBC America airs a 3-hour block of BBC World News coverage from 6.00 am to 9.00 am on weekdays, and once on weekend mornings. Met Office forecasts are removed, and is broadcasted with advertisements. Another BBC World News program, BBC World News America, airs on BBC America twice each evening.

BBC World News bulletins also appear on CBC Newsworld in Canada, and Access 31 in Perth, Australia.

Travellers on the Heathrow Express rail service from London Paddington to London Heathrow Airport are also treated to a specially-recorded BBC World News bulletin—introduced with a namecheck of "Welcome to BBC World News onboard the Heathrow Express"—during the fifteen minute journey. This short bulletin is updated twice a day, and is shown in both classes on LCD televisions throughout the train.

Many airlines from across the world also play pre-recorded extracts of the BBC World News, have text headlines from it or have a full bulletin available on the in-flight entertainment systems. Airlines with BBC World News include Emirates Airline, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and United Airlines. Travellers can watch the bulletins on Channel 1 shortly after take-off on British Airways flights from the United Kingdom. Air France also broadcasts the full bulletin instead of France 2 News, on flights operated from London-Heathrow and Los Angeles (and New York–JFK by summer 2009).[9]


News Presenters

George Alagiah (Mon-Thu) and Stephen Sackur (Fri) present GMT, Mishal Husain presents Impact Asia, Nik Gowing presents The Hub, Zeinab Badawi (Mon, Thu-Fri), Kirsty Lang (Tue-Wed) and Lyse Doucet (Fri) present World News Today, Tanya Beckett (Mon-Wed) and Jamie Robertson (Thu-Fri) present Business Edition and Matt Frei (Mon-Thu) and Katty Kay (Fri) present BBC World News America.

Other regular presenters of BBC World News include Jonathan Charles, Martine Croxall, Martine Dennis, Peter Dobbie, David Eades, Mike Embley, Karin Giannone, Geeta Guru-Murthy, Lucy Hockings, Kasia Madera, Owen Thomas, Tim Willcox and Alastair Yates. Occasional presenters include James Dagwell, Komla Dumor, Jannat Jalil, Shaun Ley, Deborah Mackenzie, Adnan Nawaz, Nisha Pillai and Babita Sharma.

Business Presenters

Business presenters include Tanya Beckett, Sally Bundock, Sara Coburn, Sally Eden, Juliette Foster, Aaron Heslehurst, Maryam Moshiri, Jamie Robertson and Owen Thomas. Rico Hizon and Sharanjit Leyl present Asia Business Report and Asia Today from Singapore.

Sport Presenters

Sports presenters include Mike Bushell, Amanda Davies, Karthi Gnanasegaram, Amelia Harris, Celina Hinchcliffe, Adnan Nawaz, Sarah Stirk and Sue Thearle.

Weather Presenters

Weather presenters include Philip Avery, Darren Bett, Daniel Corbett, Alex Deakin, Liam Dutton, Chris Fawkes, Peter Gibbs, John Hammond, Sarah Keith-Lucas, Simon King, Louise Lear, Rob McElwee, Nick Miller, Susan Powell, Nina Ridge, Elizabeth Saary, Tomasz Schafernaker, Matt Taylor, Laura Tobin, Helen Willetts, Sarah Wilmshurst and Jay Wynne.

Former Presenters

Presenters who have previously appeared on the channel include Samira Ahmed (now with Channel 4 News), Lindsey Brancher, Peter Coe, Stephen Cole (now with Al Jazeera English), Dharshini David (now with Sky News UK), Adrian Finighan (now with CNN International), Liz George (gone to CNN International and is now freelancing), Jake Lynch, Donald MacCormick, Anita McNaught, Keshini Navaratnam, Liz Pike, Richard Quest (now with CNN International) and Manisha Tank (now with CNN International).


BBC World News has occasionally made mistakes, as in the incident where on the twentieth anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, 3 December 2004, BBC World was duped into broadcasting an interview with a hoaxer (later revealed to have been Andy Bichlbaum, a member of The Yes Men) claiming to be a representative of Dow Chemical Company offering a US$12,000,000,000 settlement to the 120,000 surviving victims of the Bhopal disaster.[10] Upon discovery of the hoax, the BBC's Press Office immediately released a statement regarding what had happened and the story was dropped from subsequent BBC World News bulletins and those on the 24 hour UK news channel, BBC News.[11]

BBC News has been banned in several countries primarily for reporting which has been unfavourable to the ruling government. Most notable examples have been in Uzbekistan,[12] and Zimbabwe.



The current breakfiller.

BBC World News is, for the most part, the same channel all over the world; the commercials are limited to be its only differences. However, there are some regional programming variations. For example, a number of programmes are made exclusively for regional viewings, such as Indian feeds, and The Record Europe, which is only broadcast in Europe. In addition, the Asia Business Report from Singapore is only aired in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. The rest of the world sees the World Business Report (World Business Report is shown in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, but are on at different times depending on the country. Also, Asia Business Report airs at 0130 BST worldwide.)

On most feeds of BBC World News, when there are no commercials being inserted by the cable or satellite provider similar to other channels, the break filler shows promotions for upcoming programmes on the channel. During BBC News, a news story that has not been promoted airs during what would be the commercial break. This is the case on the broadband versions of BBC World News, and on versions of BBC World News aired in the United States on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations. However, there are some global commercials and sponsorships which air throughout the network.

On 11 September 2007, the break filler was redesigned and now more closely resembles previous versions. The promotional videos now fill the entire screen and are interspersed with news and market updates, schedules, and other information. There is also no longer a unifying music composition. Instead, each 20 second promotional video uses music selected from a handful of 'themes', which have some unifying musical characteristics. The information screens, such as the 10 second plug for the website or YouTube channel, and the 15 second weather/time/coming up screens each feature their own 'theme'. The colour theme was updated following the relaunch of the channel in April 2008.

The countdown shown in 2008.

Countdown sequence

Since its inception, and more so since its extensive association with the BBC News channel, the countdown to the hourly news bulletin has been a feature of the channel's presentation, accompanied by music composed by David Lowe.

The current style of countdown features reporters and technical staff in many different locations working to bring news stories to air. As with sister channel BBC News, the countdown concludes with the channel logo.



External links


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