BBC World News

This article is about the international news and current affairs channel. For the BBC radio network, see BBC World Service.
BBC World News
Launched 16 January 1995 as "BBC World"
21 April 2008 as "BBC World News"
Network BBC News
Owned by BBC
(BBC Global News Ltd.)
Picture format 16:9 (1080i, HDTV)
16:9 (576i, SDTV)
14:9 (480i, SDTV)
Audience share Available in:
350 million homes
1.7 million hotel rooms
81 cruise ships
46 airlines
35 mobile phone platforms
74 million viewers per week (September 2011, [1][2])
Slogan Demand a Broader View (1995-2004)
Putting News First (2004-2013)
Live The Story (2013-)
Country  United Kingdom
Language English
Broadcast area Worldwide
(except UK)
Headquarters Broadcasting House, London, United Kingdom
Formerly called BBC World Service Television (11 March 1991-15 January 1995)
BBC World (16 January 1995-20 April 2008)
Replaced BBC World Service Television (11 March 1991-15 January 1995)
BBC World (16 January 1995-20 April 2008)
Sister channel(s) CBeebies
BBC America
BBC Arabic Television
BBC Brit
BBC Canada
BBC Earth
BBC Entertainment
BBC First
BBC Kids
BBC Knowledge
BBC Lifestyle
Website BBC World News
Boxer TV Access (Sweden) Channel 27 MPEG-4
Televisió Digital Terrestre (Andorra) Channel 20
ERT Digital (Greece) Channel 48, 56 MPEG-4
PBS (USA) Check Your Local Listings
KCET-TV (Los Angeles Metropolitan Area) Digital Channel 28.4 USA
DTT (Mauritius) Multiplex 2 Mauritius
Nexmedia DVB-T (Indonesia) Channel 703
Hot Bird 10 12597 V / 27500 / 3/4
Hispasat 1C 12012 V / 27500 / 3/4
Astra 1L 11597 V / 22000 / 5/6
Thor 5 11325 H / 24500 / 7/8
Badr 4 12073 H / 27500 / 3/4 (SD)
11785 V / 27500 / 3/4 (HD)
Nilesat 101 11766 H / 27500 / 3/4
Sky Italia (Italy) Channel 520
HiTV (Nigeria) Channel 03
Cyfrowy Polsat (Poland) Channel 134
Indovision (Indonesia) Channel 332
Dish Home (Nepal) Channel 702
Bell TV (Canada) Channel 510
Shaw Direct (Canada)7 Channel 501
Astro (Malaysia) Channel 512
Tata Sky (India) Channel 536
Dialog TV
(Sri Lanka)
Channel 3
TrueVisions (Thailand) Channel 780
Sky TV
(New Zealand)
Channel 89
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 649
SkyLife (South Korea) Channel 173
SKY PerfecTV! (Japan) Channel 252
SKY PerfecTV! e2 (Japan) Channel 353
CanalSat (France) Channel 58
Digiturk (Turkey) Channel 122
D-Smart (Turkey) Channel 51
Dream Satellite TV (Philippines) Channel 21
SKY México Channel 631
Dish Home (Nepal) Channel 701
BBC World News
DStv (South Africa) Channel 400
TV Vlaanderen Digitaal
Channel 51
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 649
OSN (Middle East
& North Africa)
Channel 404
DirecTV (United States) Channel 346 (HD)
Airtel Digital TV (India) Channel 307
beIN (Middle East & North Africa) Channel 205 (HD)
Virgin Media Ireland Channel 206
Vidéotron (Canada) Channel 147
StarHub TV (Singapore) Channel 701 (SD)
Channel 755 (HD)
Rogers Cable (Canada) Channel 194 (Digital)
Shaw TV (Canada) Channels 41
Cable TV (Hong Kong) Channel 75
Verizon FiOS (United States) Channel 107
HiTV (Nigeria) Channel 3
Cablelink (Philippines) Channel 20
Destiny Cable (Philippines) Channel 23 (Analog)
Channel 29 (Digital)
SkyCable (Philippines) Channel 29 (Digital)
OneLink Communications (Puerto Rico) Channel 74
TelstraClear InHomeTV (New Zealand) Channel 93
First Media (Indonesia) Channel 230 (SD)
Channel 395 (HD)
Parasat Cable TV (Philippines) Channel 15
TrueVisions (Thailand) Channel 157
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 649
Optus TV (Australia) Channel 649
Kabel Deutschland (Germany) Channel 838
Telecable (Spain) Channel 85
now TV (Hong Kong) Channel 320 (SD/HD)
Movistar+ (Spain) Channel 113
MEO (Portugal) Channel 204
Bell Fibe TV (Canada) Channel 510 (SD)
Channel 1510 (HD)
Deutsche Telekom Germany Channel 99
Fetch TV (Australia) Channel 180
CHT MOD (Taiwan) Channel 151
Hikari TV (Japan) Channel 852
Claro TV (Dominican Republic) Channel 154
HyppTV (Malaysia) Channel 431 (HD)
AT&T U-verse (United States) Channel 1207 (HD)
Channel 207 (SD)
Google Fiber (United States) Channel 112
Singtel TV (Singapore) Channel 149 (HD) (Coming Soon)
VMedia (Canada) Channel 194
myTV Super (Hong Kong) Channel 709 (HD)
Streaming media
Horizon Watch live (Netherlands only)
Watch live (Switzerland only)
Zattoo Watch live (Switzerland only)
Sling TV Internet Protocol television

BBC World News is the BBC's international news and current affairs television channel. It has the largest audience of any BBC channel, with an estimated 76 million viewers weekly in 2014, part of the estimated 265 million users of the BBC's four main international news services.[3] Launched on 11 March 1991 as BBC World Service Television outside Europe, its name was changed to BBC World on 16 January 1995 and to BBC World News on 21 April 2008. It broadcasts television programming including BBC News bulletins, documentaries, lifestyle programmes and interviews. It employs more correspondents and reporters and has more international bureaux than any other news channel. Unlike the BBC's domestic channels, BBC World News is owned and operated by BBC Global News Ltd., part of the BBC's commercial group of companies, and is funded by subscription and advertising revenues, and not by the United Kingdom television licence. It is not owned by BBC Worldwide.[4]


The channel originally launched as BBC World Service Television, though unlike BBC World Service radio which (until 2011) was funded by a grant-in-aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British government refused to extend the grant-in-aid to the new television service. It was launched on 11 March 1991, after two weeks of real-time pilots, initially as a half-hour bulletin once a day at 19:00 GMT. The programme editor was Johan "John" Ramsland from World Service Radio News with John Exelby from domestic BBC TV News as his managing editor. The original picture editing team consisted of Bob Scholes, Peter Hodge and Mike Casey.

On Thursday, 26 January 1995 at 19:00 GMT, BBC World Service Television was split into 2-television stations:

Since 1995, the service has gone through several branding changes. From 1995 to 1997, the channel used relatively few graphics to display the name of the channel, with the studio modelled on that used for BBC News in the United Kingdom.

As part of a major BBC corporate redesign (which included a new logo for the corporation on 4 October 1997) the channel received its first main refresh on 9 November 1997, the day BBC News 24 was launched. Various fictional flags with some real ones were used. The idents were computer generated and developed by the Lambie-Nairn design agency.

Another large relaunch for BBC World took place on 3 April 2000,[5] which brought it in line with the BBC's UK news channel which was relaunched in 1999. The new uniform look was made up of red and cream designed by Lambie-Nairn, with music based on a style described as 'drums and beeps' composed by David Lowe, a departure from the general orchestral versions of other news programmes.

On 8 December 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 frosted glass, white and red colours. Later in 2004, the channel's slogan became Putting News First, replacing Demand a Broader View. The graphical refresh introduced in 2003 was refreshed in May 2006 with a more red output. On 22 January 2007 a new refresh was presented based on the previous graphics, a red coloured labels covering a red and black earthglobe along with the BBC World logo.

The channel's present name was introduced on 21 April 2008 as part of a £550,000 rebranding of the BBC's news output and visual identity. BBC World News later moved to the renovated former studio of BBC News 24 (now BBC News). New graphics were produced by the Lambie-Nairn design agency and music reworked by David Lowe.

Move to Broadcasting House

BBC World News relocated to Broadcasting House from its previous home at BBC Television Centre on 14 January 2013. This was part of the move of BBC News and other audio and vision departments of the BBC into one building in Central London. Broadcasting House was refurbished at a cost of £1 billion with a new newsroom and several state-of-the-art news television studios being built.[6]


Live news output originates from studios B and C in Broadcasting House with some recorded programming from Broadcasting House studio A and the BBC Millbank studio. The BBC World News newsroom is now part of the new consolidated BBC Newsroom in Broadcasting House along with BBC World Service and UK domestic News services.

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 Europe on Astra 1L satellite,[7] and Eutelsat Hot Bird 6 satellite to other broadcast feeds in the Asian region from 20 January 2009.


As a result of the move to Broadcasting House, BBC World News gained high-definition studios and equipment to be able to broadcast in high-definition. On 5 August 2013, BBC World News was offered as a High Definition (HD) feed across the Middle East when it launched its international HD channel on Arabsat. Arabsat was the BBC's first distribution partner in the Middle East to offer the award-winning news channel in HD.

On 1 April 2015 BBC World News in English started broadcasting in high definition from the 11.229 GHz/V transponder on Astra 1KR at the 19.2°E orbital position, available free-to-air to viewers with 60 cm dishes across Europe and coastal North Africa.[8]


BBC World News claims to be watched by a weekly audience of 74 million in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.[9] BBC World News is most commonly watched as a free-to-air (FTA) channel. The channel is available in Europe and many parts of the world via satellite (FTA) or cable platforms.

In the United States, the channel is available through various providers[10] such as Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, AT&T U-verse,[11] DirecTV and others. This version is distributed through the BBC's partnership in the United States through AMC Networks, which owns the 'minority' half (49.9%) of partner channel BBC America, with some of the schedule carrying American advertising overlaid over the master BBC World News feed.


In mid-2012, Livestation made BBC World News available as part of a subscription package with Sky International, Al Jazeera English, and EuroNews.[12] Livestation closed down in November, 2016.

On 30 June 2016, Sling made BBC World News available in the United States as part of their World News add-on package.[13]

United Kingdom

The channel is not officially available as a stand-alone, full-time channel in the United Kingdom because 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 satellite systems, including Astra and Hot Bird and is available in selected London hotels. BBC World News can also be viewed in the public areas of Broadcasting House (the lobby and cafe).

However, some BBC World News programmes are available to UK audiences. There is a simulcast of the 05:00 UK 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'. While international audiences see advertisements during the break, UK viewers see domestic headlines. This simulcast is in addition to overnight simulcasts at the top of the hour from 00.00 to 05.00 UK time on both BBC World News and BBC News Channel and are simply branded as BBC News (except for Newsday which simulcasts at 00.00 UK time weekdays), even if they are produced by BBC World News. The 11:30 UK edition of BBC World News was shown on BBC Two Mon-Fri (but not on Wednesdays when Parliament is sitting and there is Prime Minister's Questions), but was discontinued as of December 2015, having been quietly replaced by the next half-hour of national BBC News (now known as Newsroom Live). This had formed BBC News at 11 on BBC Two, which was made up of half an hour of BBC News and then half an hour of BBC World News. Nowadays, this also happens on rare occasions during big news events and the News Channel presenter will join the BBC World News presenter in Studio C as it used by both channels. This was done for example for coverage of events such as the Glasgow Helicopter Crash, Election of Pope Francis and Boston Marathon Bombings. Previously GMT was shown at 12:30 on the channel.

BBC World News also produces a version of World News Today at 19:00 weekdays and 21:00 weekends UK 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.

Both World and the BBC News Channel have also occasionally had to simulcast the same news programme due to strike action or technical issues; this occurred in 2003 when Television Centre in London was affected by electrical problems.


Live news programmes:

Other live programmes:

Pre-recorded programmes include:

World News Bulletins

The BBC newsroom at Broadcasting House in London

Half-hour BBC World News bulletins are made available to Public Broadcasting Service member stations and networks in the United States through Los Angeles' KCET, a non-commercial independent public television station separate from PBS since the beginning of 2011 due to a rights fee dispute. 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 DC.

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 05:00 to 08:00 on weekdays. Met Office forecasts are removed, and is broadcast with advertisements. Another BBC World News programme, the hour-long BBC World News America, aired on BBC America at 19:00 Eastern Time. A second broadcast at 22:00 Eastern Time ended in 2010 when BBC America introduced a second feed for the western time zones of the US on 18 February 2011, it was announced that BBC World News America would be discontinued on BBC America and would instead be airing only on BBC World and local PBS stations in the United States as a 30-minute program.[14]

BBC World News bulletins also appear on Hong Kong TVB English Channel instead of an NBC Nightly News simulcast from NBC News via its East Coast Feed from 07:30 until 08:00 Hong Kong Time (18:30 until 19:00 New York City Time), CCTV English News Live simulcasting on CCTV News from 12:00 until 13:00 Beijing/Hong Kong Time and News at 7:30 from 19:30 until 20:00 Hong Kong Time. In Singapore, the English daily evening-nightly flagship mainly news bulletins appear on: MediaCorp News Channel NewsAsia instead of Singapore Tonight from 22:00 until 23:00 Singapore Standard Time.

Previously, bulletins also featured on select rail services in both cities:

These broadcasts are treated to a specially recorded namecheck of "Welcome to BBC World News on board the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit and Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway". This short bulletin was updated twice a day, and has since been replaced by a similar programme from MediaCorp News Channel NewsAsia.

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

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 showing BBC World News include Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Myanmar Airways International, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, Air Canada and Qantas.


News presenters

Weather presenters

Former presenters


Part of the countdown sequence in 2013, showing Broadcasting House

BBC World News is, for the most part, the same channel all over the world; the commercials are intended to be the 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.

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.

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.


BBC World News was named Best International News Channel at the Association for International Broadcasting Awards in November 2006.[15] It won a Peabody Award in 2007 for White Horse Village"[16] and another in 2009 for "Where Giving Life is a Death Sentence."[17]

Other stations


  1. "About BBC World News TV". BBC News. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  2. "BBC World News achieves major distribution milestone, reaching more than 330m households worldwide". BBC Media Centre. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  3. "BBC - BBC's global news audiences increase to record 265m - Media Centre". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  4. BBC. "BBC News – About BBC World News TV". BBC.
  5. "BBC World Unveils A New Look And A New Schedule - Scoop News". Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  6. Sabbagh, Dan. "The news from the BBC: its £1bn new base is finally coming on air". Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  7. "BBC World News goes widescreen". YouTube. 13 January 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  8. BBC World News launches HD service in Europe BBC Media Centre. April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2015
  9. "About BBC World News TV". BBC. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  10. "Where and how to watch BBC World News". BBC. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  11. "BBC World News launches On AT&T U-verse". BBC. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  12. "Livestation Bringing BBC, Sky News, Euronews to the U.S. in Subscription Package".
  13. "BBC America and BBC World News now on Sling TV". Sling. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  14. 'BBC World News America' Shifts To BBC World News Multichannel News, 18 February 2011
  15. "Key Dates". BBC World News. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  16. 67th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2008.
  17. 69th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2010.

External links

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