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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 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 Villagemarker, part of the BBC White Citymarker, in White Citymarker, west Londonmarker. All news output originates from studio N8 in the nearby Television Centremarker. The BBC World News newsroom is part of the BBC's Global News Hub, set up in the summer of 2008. 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 January 13, 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, and Eutelsat Hot Bird 6 satellite but to other feeds broadcast in the Asian region from 20 January 2009.

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

In 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 Officemarker 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 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 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 and 2004 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 Italymarker, 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 Berlinmarker 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 Koreanmarker newspaper, but this stream cannot necessarily be viewed from all countries (inaccessible from the USAmarker as of October 2007).

It is also available online through the subscription service RealPlayer Plus and online live-streaming service Jalipo. In Bahrainmarker and the United Arab Emiratesmarker 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 Zealandmarker, where it is carried overnight on TV ONE, and in Trinidad and Tobagomarker 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 1KRmarker.

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 Kongmarker, which was later acquired by Rupert Murdoch, but switched to PanAmSatmarker in 1994. It is also available on Astro in Malaysiamarker, 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 Caribbeanmarker.

In Canadamarker, 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. 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 Statesmarker, 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 select BBC World bulletins on BBC America and over 200 PBS stations, but on April 4, 2009, BBC World News was dropped from BBC America. It was also reported in the New York Times in April 2008, 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." For more distribution information, please refer to the paragraph below—"BBC World in the USA."


Live News Programmes:

  • BBC World News For most of the day the channel produces 26 minute bulletins of international news beginning at the top of each hour. Some editions of its 2300 broadcasts are rebroadcast via PBS stations in the USAmarker. Each day during the overnight hours in the UK (0100-0500 local time), twenty-five minute news bulletins from the top of each hour on the channel are produced by and simulcast on BBC News, when they are simply identified as "BBC News" with no reference to any channel. During these overnight hours, the bulletins are usually presented from the domestic channel's studio (although the 'World' studio is sometimes utilised). At 0500 UKT time an hour of News, Business and sport, which is also transmitted on the main domestic BBC network BBC One and the BBC News Channel.
  • World News Today Transmitted at 0200/0300 (season dependent), 1100/1200 (season dependent), 1300, 1600, 1800/1900 (season dependent) and 2100/2200 GMT (season dependent), launched in July 2006, to coincide with the launch of BBC World as an independent channel in the United States, the 1200 GMT edition was launched to appeal to the breakfast audience in the country and is presented by George Alagiah. The 1900 UKT edition is aimed at European audiences and launched on the 29 May 2007. It is presented by Zeinab Badawi. It replaced the 2100 edition which had run since 18 September 2006. The first half hour is broadcast on the BBC's domestic channel BBC Four. The 1600 Asia Edition is presented by Nik Gowing. The 0300 GMT edition launched on Tuesday 2 October 2007 is presented by the Overnight Simulcast presenter in London. Business news occasionally comes from Rico Hizon or Shiranjit Leyl in Singapore. This edition is also broadcast in the UK on BBC News. Most editions of World News Today include a short version of World Business Report and the 2200 GMT edition is a business edition presented by Tanya Beckett in London with other presenters from New York and Singapore. The 1300 GMT edition debuted on 7 July 2008 and is presented by Mishal Hussain where in lieu of World Business Report, Sport Today is inserted during the 2nd half of the show.
  • BBC World News America Launched on 2 October 2007, the programme is broadcast at 2300/0000 GMT (season dependent) from the BBC's Washington Studios. The main presenter is Matt Frei with former Washington anchor Katty Kay acting as Washington correspondent. The programme is broadcast on BBC America who provide much of the funding. The editor is Rome Hartman who was previously executive producer at the CBS Evening News.

Other live programmes:
  • World Business Report: International Business News, live from London. Broadcast around the world, apart from in Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Asia Business Report: Asian Business news live from Singapore Citymarker.
  • Sport Today: International sport news. Transmitted five times each day.
  • Asia Today - Asian news. Only broadcast in South Asia and Asia Pacific.

Pre recorded programmes include:
  • Africa Business Report - African business news.
  • The Bottom Line - roundtable discussion of issues.
  • Click — technology show.
  • Dateline London - discussion of british political issues.
  • The Doha Debates - discussion of major political topics in the arab world.
  • Earth Report - environmental issues.
  • Equestrian World - show on horseback riding.
  • Fast Track - travel show.
  • Final Score - football show.
  • HARDtalk— individual interviews
  • India Business Report - India business news.
  • Kill Or Cure? - medical show.
  • Middle East Business Report - Middle East business news.
  • Nature Inc. - Nature show.
  • Newsnight - Political show.
  • Our World - documentaries.
  • Peschardt's People - a look at the lives of the most influental people of the asia-pacific region.
  • The Record Europe - European political show. (only shown in Europe)
  • Reporters - showcases news reports of the week.
  • Spirit Of Yachting - Yachting show.
  • Talking Movies — film show (mainly from Hollywoodmarker)
  • This Week— analysis of news from the past week
  • The World Debate - debate show.

In addition other BBC documentaries such as Holidays in the Danger Zone air from time to time.

In Indiamarker, many programmes tailor-made for a local audience are shown , including Question Time India, quiz show University Challenge India, India Business Report, IT India Tomorrow, Face to Face and motor show Wheels.


News Presenters

Presenter Programmes Regular Hours (GMT) Notes
George Alagiah World News Today 1200-1300 Mon-Thu presenter, BBC News at Six
Zeinab Badawi World News Today, BBC World News 1900-2100 Mon-Wed, Fri
Tanya Beckett World News Today (Business Edition) 2200-2300 Mon-Wed also business presenter
Jonathan Charles World News Today, BBC World News 0500-0800 Mon-Thu, 0800-1100, 1200-1300 Fri
Martine Croxall World News Today, BBC World News 0100-0500 Tue-Wed
James Dagwell World News Today, BBC World News Overnight Relief presenter, E24
Martine Dennis BBC World News 0500-0800 Fri
Peter Dobbie BBC World News 1200-1900 Sat-Sun
Lyse Doucet World News Today, BBC World News 1600-1900 Mon, 1300-1600 Fri special correspondent
Komla Dumor BBC World News 1900-0100 Sat-Sun
David Eades BBC World News 0800-1100 Mon-Thu
Mike Embley BBC World News 2100-2200, 2300-0000 Mon-Fri
Matt Frei BBC World News America 0000-0100 Mon-Thu based in Washington
Karin Giannone BBC World News Weekday and Weekend Relief currently on maternity leave
Nik Gowing World News Today, BBC World News 1600-1900 Tue-Fri
Geeta Guru-Murthy BBC World News 0900-1200 Fri
Lucy Hockings BBC World News 0900-1200, 1300-1400 Mon-Thu
Mishal Husain World News Today, BBC World News 1300-1600 Mon-Thu
Lucy Hockings BBC World News 0900-1200 Mon-Thu
Jannat Jalil BBC World News Weekend Relief
Katty Kay BBC World News America 0000-0100 Fri based in Washington
Kirsty Lang World News Today, BBC World News 1900-2100 Wed
Shaun Ley BBC World News Weekend Relief
Deborah Mackenzie World News Today, BBC World News Overnight Relief
Adnan Nawaz BBC World News Weekday and Weekend Relief also Sport presenter
Nisha Pillai World News Today, BBC World News Weekday Relief
Jamie Robertson World News Today (Business Edition) 2200-2300 Thu-Fri also business presenter
Babita Sharma World News Today, BBC World News 0100-0500 Thu-Fri, 0100-0600 Sat
Owen Thomas BBC World News 0600-1200 Sat-Sun
Tim Willcox World News Today, BBC World News Weekday Relief
Alastair Yates World News Today, BBC World News 0100-0600 Sun, 0100-500 Mon

Business Presenters

Sport Presenters

Former Presenters


BBC World News has occasionally made mistakes, as in the incident where on the twentieth anniversary of the Bhopal disastermarker, 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 disastermarker. Upon discovery of the hoax, the BBC's Press Office immediately put out 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.

United States

In the United Statesmarker, selected BBC World News bulletins are rebroadcast on a declining number of PBS affiliates. Selected BBC World News bulletins are also available on BBC America, but they were removed from the lineup briefly from April 4, 2009. The reason given by BBC America president Garth Ancier, was low ratings. The morning bulletins returned to the channel on May 18, but moved back an hour.

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 Citymarker 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

It is not officially available as a stand-alone, full-time channel in the United Kingdommarker, 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 Astramarker and Hotbird, the channel is 'available' to anyone in the United Kingdommarker who sets up their own dish to point at one of these satellites.


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 Uzbekistanmarker,and Zimbabwemarker.

BBC World News

Half-hour BBC World News bulletins are made available to PBS stations in the United States through WLIWmarker in New York Citymarker. 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.marker.

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 5.00 am to 8.00 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 Perthmarker, Australia.

Travellers on the Heathrow Express rail service from London Paddingtonmarker to London Heathrow Airportmarker 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).



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 Indianmarker feeds, and The Record Europe, which is only broadcast in Europe. In addition, the Asia Business Report from Singaporemarker 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 underwent a major change and now more closely resembles its previous incarnations. 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.

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.



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