The BBC World Service, the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasts radio and television news, speech and discussions in more than 40 languages to many parts of the world on analogue and digital shortwave platforms, Internet streaming, podcasting, satellite, DAB, FM and MW relays. In November 2016 the BBC announced again that it would start broadcasting in additional languages including Amharic and Igbo, in its biggest expansion since the 1940s. In 2015 World Service reached an average of 210 million people a week (via TV, radio and online). The English-language service broadcasts 24 hours a day.
The World Service is funded by the United Kingdom's television licence fee, limited advertising and the profits of BBC Worldwide Ltd. The service is also guaranteed £289 million (allocated over a five-year period ending in 2020) from the UK government. The World Service was funded for decades by grant-in-aid through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government until 1 April 2014.
|BBC World Service|
|Type||Radio network broadcasting news, speech, discussions|
|Slogan||The World's Radio Station, The BBC's international radio station|
|Headquarters||Broadcasting House, London|
|Jamie Angus (Director)|
|19 December 1932 (as BBC Empire Service)|
|BBC Empire Service|
BBC Overseas Service
External Services of the BBC
|Webcast||Internet Schedule Live Streaming
English News Live Streaming
Africa Live Streaming
|BBC World Service|
The BBC World Service began in 1932 as the BBC Empire Service, broadcasting on shortwave and aimed principally at English-speakers across the British Empire. In his first Christmas Message (1932), King George V characterised the service as intended for "men and women, so cut off by the snow, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them". First hopes for the Empire Service were low. The Director General, Sir John Reith (later Lord Reith) said in the opening programme:
"Don't expect too much in the early days; for some time we shall transmit comparatively simple programmes, to give the best chance of intelligible reception and provide evidence as to the type of material most suitable for the service in each zone. The programmes will neither be very interesting nor very good."
This address was read out five times as the BBC broadcast it live to different parts of the world.
On 3 January 1938 the first foreign-language service was launched - in Arabic. Programmes in German started on 29 March 1938, and by the end of 1942 the BBC had started broadcasts in all major European languages. As a result, the Empire Service was renamed the BBC Overseas Service in November 1939, supplemented by the addition of a dedicated BBC European Service from 1941. Funding for these services - known administratively as the External Services of the BBC - came not from the domestic licence-fee but from government grant-in-aid (from the Foreign Office budget).
The External Services broadcast propaganda during the Second World War of 1939-1945. Its French service Radio Londres also sent coded messages to the French Resistance. George Orwell broadcast many news bulletins on the Eastern Service during World War II.
By the end of the 1940s the number of broadcast languages had expanded and reception had improved, following the opening of a relay in modern-day Malaysia and of the Limassol relay in Cyprus in 1957. On 1 May 1965 the service took its current name of BBC World Service. It expanded its reach with the opening of the Ascension Island relay in 1966, serving African audiences with a stronger signal and better reception, and with the later relay on the Island of Masirah in Oman.
In August 1985 the service went off-air for the first time when workers went on strike in protest at the British government's decision to ban a documentary featuring an interview with Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin.
Subsequently, financial pressures decreased the number and the types of services offered by the BBC. Audiences in countries with wide access to Internet services have less need for terrestrial radio. Broadcasts in German ended in March 1999, after research showed that the majority of German listeners tuned into the English-language service. Broadcasts in Dutch, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese and Malay stopped for similar reasons.
On 25 October 2005, the BBC announced that broadcasts in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Kazakh, Polish, Slovak, Slovene and Thai would end by March 2006, to finance the launch in 2007 of television news-services in Arabic and Persian. Additionally, Romanian broadcasts ceased on 1 August 2008.
In January 2011 the closure of the Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese for Africa, Serbian, and English for the Caribbean services was announced. This reflected the financial situation the Corporation faced following transfer of responsibility for the Service from the Foreign Office, so that it would in future have been funded from within licence-fee income. The Russian, Ukrainian, Mandarin Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese, Azeri, and Spanish for Cuba services ceased radio broadcasting, and the Hindi, Indonesian, Kyrgyz, Nepali, Swahili, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi services ceased shortwave transmissions. The British government announced that the three Balkan countries had wide access to international information, and so broadcasts in the local languages had become unnecessary. 650 jobs went as part of the 16% budget cut.
The Service broadcasts from Broadcasting House in London, which is also headquarters of the Corporation. It is located in the newer parts of the building, which contains radio and television studios for use by the various language services. The building also contains an integrated newsroom used by the international World Service, the international television channel BBC World News, the domestic television and radio BBC News bulletins, the BBC News Channel and BBC Online.
At its launch, the Service was located along with most radio output in Broadcasting House. However, following the explosion of a parachute mine nearby on 8 December 1940, it relocated to premises away from the likely target of Broadcasting House. The Overseas service relocated to Oxford Street while the European service moved temporarily to the emergency broadcasting facilities at Maida Vale Studios. The European services moved permanently into Bush House towards the end of 1940, completing the move in 1941, with the Overseas services joining them in 1958. Bush House subsequently became the home of the BBC World Service and the building itself has gained a global reputation with the audience of the service. However, the building was vacated in 2012 as a result of the Broadcasting House changes and the end of the building's lease that year; the first service to move was the Burmese Service on 11 March 2012 and the final broadcast from Bush House was a news bulletin broadcast at 11.00GMT on 12 July 2012.
The BBC World Service encompasses an English 24-hour global radio network and separate services in 27 other languages. News and information is available in these languages on the BBC website, with many having RSS feeds and specific versions for use on mobile devices, and some also offer email notification of stories. In addition to the English service, 18 of the language services broadcast a radio service using the short wave, AM or FM bands. These are also available to listen live or can be listened to later (usually for seven days) over the Internet and, in the case of seven language services, can be downloaded as podcasts. News is also available from the BBC News 'app', which is available from both iTunes and the Google Play Store. In recent years, video content has also been used by the World Service: 16 language services show video reports on the website, and the Arabic and Persian services have their own television channels. TV is also used to broadcast the radio service, with local cable and satellite operators providing the English network (and occasionally some local language services) free to air. The English service is also available on digital radio in the UK and Europe.
Traditionally, the Service relied on shortwave broadcasts, because of their ability to overcome barriers of censorship, distance, and spectrum scarcity. The BBC has maintained a worldwide network of shortwave relay stations since the 1940s, mainly in former British colonies. These cross-border broadcasts have also been used in special circumstances for emergency messages to British subjects abroad, such as the advice to evacuate Jordan during the Black September incidents of September 1970. These facilities were privatised in 1997 as Merlin Communications, and later acquired and operated as part of a wider network for multiple broadcasters by VT Communications (now part of Babcock International Group). It is also common for BBC programmes to air on Voice of America or ORF transmitters, while their programming is relayed by a station located inside the UK. However, since the 1980s, satellite distribution has made it possible for local stations to relay BBC programmes.
The World Service aims to be "the world's best-known and most-respected voice in international broadcasting, thereby bringing benefit to the UK, the BBC, and to audiences around the world", while retaining a "balanced British view" of international developments. Like the rest of the BBC, the World Service is a Crown corporation of the UK Government. For the financial year 2011-12, it received £255.2 million. In addition to broadcasting, the Service also devotes resources to the BBC Learning English programme.
In 2011, a BBC Kyrgyz service newsreader and producer Arslan Koichiev resigned from his BBC post after revelations and claims of involvement in the Kyrgyzstan revolution of April 2010. He had been based in London, but often traveled to Kyrgyzstan and used BBC resources to agitate against President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, appearing on a Kyrgyz radio station under a pseudonym with a disguised voice. One of the leaders of the revolution, Aliyasbek Alymkulov, named the producer as his mentor and claimed that they had discussed preparations for the revolution. According to independent news agency Fergana News "Mr Alymkulov claimed that Koichiev arranged secret meetings "through the BBC" and organized the march at the presidential palace on the 7th of April, 2010" 
|Language||Start date||Close date||Website/notes||radio||TV||online||operational||closed|
|Afaan Oromoo||18 September 2017||BBC Afaan Oromoo||X||X|
|Afrikaans||14 May 1939||8 September 1957||X||X|
|Albanian||12 November 1940
20 February 1993
|20 January 1967
28 February 2011
|BBC Albanian Archive||X||X|
|Amharic||18 September 2017||BBC Amharic||X||X|
|Arabic||3 January 1938||BBC Arabic||X||X||X||X|
|Azerbaijani||30 November 1994||BBC Azeri||X||X||X|
|Belgian French & Belgian Dutch||28 September 1940||30 March 1952||X||X|
|Bengali||11 October 1941||BBC Bangla||X||X||X|
|Bulgarian||7 February 1940||23 December 2005||BBC Bulgarian Archive||X||X||X|
|Burmese||2 September 1940||BBC Burmese||X||X||X|
|Croatian||29 September 1991||31 January 2006||BBC Croatian Archive||X||X||X|
|Cantonese Chinese||5 May 1941||BBC Chinese||X||X|
|Hokkien Chinese||1 October 1942||7 February 1948|
|Mandarin Chinese||19 May 1941||25 March 2011||BBC Chinese|
|Czech||31 December 1939||28 February 2006||BBC Czech Archive||X||X||X|
|Danish||9 April 1940||10 August 1957||X||X|
|Dutch||11 April 1940||10 August 1957||X||X|
|Dutch for Indonesia||28 August 1944
25 May 1946
|2 April 1945
13 May 1951
|English||25 December 1936||BBC World Service||X||X||X||X|
|English for the Caribbean||25 December 1976||25 March 2011||BBC Caribbean Archive||X||X||X|
|Finnish||18 March 1940||31 December 1997||X||X|
|French for Africa||20 June 1960||BBC French||X||X||X|
|French for Canada||2 November 1942||8 May 1980||X||X|
|French for Europe||27 September 1938||31 March 1995||X||X|
|French for South-East Asia||28 August 1944||3 April 1955||X||X|
|German||27 September 1938||26 March 1999||X||X|
|German for Austria||29 March 1943||15 September 1957||X||X|
|Greek||30 September 1939||31 December 2005||BBC Greek Archive||X||X||X|
|Greek for Cyprus||16 September 1940||3 June 1951||X||X|
|Gujarati||1 March 1942
2 October 2017
|3 September 1944||BBC Gujarati||X||X|
|Hausa||13 March 1957||BBC Hausa||X||X||X|
|Hebrew||30 October 1949||28 October 1968||X||X|
|Hindi||11 May 1940||BBC Hindi||X||X||X|
|Hungarian||5 September 1939||31 December 2005||BBC Hungarian Archive||X||X||X|
|Icelandic||1 December 1940||26 June 1944||X||X|
|Igbo||19 February 2018 ||BBC Igbo|
|Italian||27 September 1938||31 December 1981||X||X|
|Indonesian||30 October 1949||BBC Indonesian||X||X||X|
|Japanese||4 July 1943||31 March 1991||X||X|
|Kazakh||1 April 1995||16 December 2005||BBC Kazakh Archive||X||X||X|
|Kinyarwanda||8 September 1994||BBC Kinyarwanda||X||X||X|
|Korean||26 September 2017||BBC Korean||X||X||X|
|Kyrgyz||1 April 1995||BBC Kyrgyz||X||X||X|
|Luxembourgish||29 May 1943||30 May 1952||X||X|
|Macedonian||6 January 1996||4 March 2011||BBC Macedonian Archive||X||X|
|Malay||2 May 1941||31 March 1991||X||X|
|Maltese||10 August 1940||31 December 1981||X||X|
|Marathi||1 March 1942
31 December 1944
2 October 2017
|3 September 1944
25 December 1958
|Nepali||7 June 1969||BBC Nepali||X||X||X|
|Nigerian Pidgin||21 August 2017||BBC Pidgin||X||X|
|Norwegian||9 April 1940||10 August 1957||X||X|
|Pashto||15 August 1981||BBC Pashto||X||X||X|
|Persian||28 December 1940||BBC Persian||X||X||X||X|
|Polish||7 September 1939||23 December 2005||BBC Polish Archive||X||X||X|
|Portuguese for Africa||4 June 1939||25 February 2011||BBC Portuguese for Africa Archive||X||X||X|
|Portuguese for Brasil||14 March 1938||BBC Brasil||X||X||X|
|Portuguese for Europe||4 June 1939||10 August 1957||X||X|
|Punjabi||2 October 2017||BBC Punjabi||X||X||X||X|
|Romanian||15 September 1939||1 August 2008||BBC Romanian Archive||X||X||X|
|Russian||7 October 1942
24 March 1946
|26 May 1943||BBC Russian||X||X||X|
|Serbian||29 September 1991
26 March 2018
|25 February 2011||BBC Serbian||X||X||X|
|Sinhala||10 March 1942
11 March 1990
|30 March 1976||BBC Sinhala||X||X||X|
|Slovak||31 December 1941||31 December 2005||BBC Slovak Archive||X||X||X|
|Slovene||22 April 1941||23 December 2005||BBC Slovene Archive||X||X||X|
|Somali||18 July 1957||BBC Somali||X||X||X|
|Spanish for Latin America||14 March 1938||BBC Mundo||X||X||X|
|Swahili||27 June 1957||BBC Swahili||X||X||X|
|Swedish||12 February 1940||4 March 1961||X||X|
|Tamil||3 May 1941||BBC Tamil||X||X||X|
|Telugu||2 October 2017||BBC Telugu||X||X|
|Thai||27 April 1941
3 June 1962
10 July 201416 November 2016
|5 March 1960
13 January 2006
|BBC Thai Archive
BBC Thai Facebook page
|Tigrinya||18 September 2017||BBC Tigrinya||X||X|
|Turkish||20 November 1939||BBC Turkish||X||X||X|
|Ukrainian||1 June 1992||BBC Ukrainian||X||X||X|
|Urdu||3 April 1949||BBC Urdu||X||X||X|
|Uzbek||30 November 1994||BBC Uzbek||X||X||X|
|Vietnamese||6 February 1952||BBC Vietnamese||X||X||X|
|Welsh for Patagonia, Argentina||1945||1946||X||X|
|Yoruba||19 February 2018 ||BBC Yoruba||X|
|Yugoslav (Serbo-Croatian)||15 September 1939||28 September 1991||X||X|
The World Service in English mainly broadcasts news and analysis. The mainstays of the current schedule are Newsday, World Update, Newshour and The Newsroom. There are daily science programmes: Health Check, the technology programme Click and Science in Action. At weekends, some of the schedule is taken up by Sportsworld, which often includes live commentary of Premier League football matches. Other weekend sport shows include The Sports Hour and Stumped, a cricket programme co-produced with All India Radio and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. On Sundays the international, interdisciplinary discussion programme The Forum is broadcast. Outlook is a human interest programme presented by Matthew Bannister and Jo Fidgen, which was first broadcast in July 1966 and presented for more than thirty years by John Tidmarsh. Trending describes itself as "explaining the stories the world is sharing..." Regular music programmes were reintroduced with the autumn schedule in 2015. Many programmes, particularly speech-based ones, are also available as podcasts.
Previous broadcasts included popular music programmes presented by the late John Peel and classical music programmes presented by the late Edward Greenfield. There have also been religious programmes, of mostly Anglican celebration and often from the Church of St. Martin in the Fields, weekly drama, English-language lessons, and comedy including Just A Minute. Other notable previous programmes include Letter from America by Alistair Cooke, which was broadcast for over fifty years; Off the Shelf with its daily reading from a novel, biography or history book; A Jolly Good Show, a music request programme presented by Dave Lee Travis; Waveguide, a radio reception guide; and The Merchant Navy Programme, a show for seafarers presented by Malcolm Billings.
Since the late 1990s, the station has focused more on news, with bulletins added every half-hour following the outbreak of the Iraq War.
News is at the core of the scheduling. A five-minute bulletin is generally transmitted at 01 past the hour, with a two-minute summary at 30 past the hour. Sometimes these are separate from other programming, or alternatively made integral to the programme (such as with The Newsroom, Newshour or Newsday). During such time slots as weeknights 11pm-12am GMT and that of Sportsworld, no news summaries are broadcast. As part of the BBC's policy for breaking news, the Service is the first to receive a full report for foreign news.
The station also publishes a Global News podcast twice a day (once on weekends), of around 30 minutes. The podcast is comparable to an edition of The Newsroom but without the five-minute reading of the news. Between 2007 and 2015 it was downloaded more than 300 million times.
The BBC World Service in English employs a team of seven announcers and newsreaders.
The following relief newsreaders can also be heard on the network:
The BBC World Service website lists more than 80 FM stations in Africa which broadcast BBC content. The BBC World Service broadcasts a few hours in the morning and evening on shortwave to Africa from Ascension Island, Mauritius, South Africa, the UK, Madagascar and the UAE. Broadcasts have traditionally come from the UK, Cyprus, the large BBC Atlantic Relay Station on Ascension Island, and the smaller Lesotho Relay Station and Indian Ocean Relay Station on Seychelles. A large part of the English schedule is taken up by specialist programming from and for Africa, for example Focus on Africa and Africa, Have Your Say. In the 1990s, the BBC added FM facilities in many African capital cities.
BBC World Service is available by subscription to Sirius XM's satellite radio service in the United States. Its Canadian affiliate, Sirius XM Canada does the same in Canada. More than 300 public radio stations across the US carry World Service news broadcasts —mostly during the overnight and early-morning hours— over AM and FM radio, distributed by American Public Media (APM).. The BBC and Public Radio International (PRI) co-produce the programme The World with WGBH Radio Boston, and the BBC was previously involved with The Takeaway morning news programme based at WNYC in New York City. BBC World Service programming also airs as part of CBC Radio One's CBC Radio Overnight schedule in Canada.
BBC shortwave broadcasts to this region were traditionally enhanced by the Atlantic Relay Station and the Caribbean Relay Company, a station in Antigua run jointly with Deutsche Welle. In addition, an exchange agreement with Radio Canada International gave access to their station in New Brunswick. However, "changing listening habits" led the World Service to end shortwave radio transmission directed to North America and Australasia on 1 July 2001. A shortwave listener coalition formed to oppose the change.
The BBC broadcasts to Central America and South America in several languages. It is possible to receive the Western African shortwave radio broadcasts from eastern North America, but the BBC does not guarantee reception in this area. It has ended its specialist programming to the Falkland Islands but continues to provide a stream of World Service programming to the Falkland Islands Radio Service.
For several decades, the World Service's largest audiences have been in Asia, the Middle East, Near East and South Asia. Transmission facilities in the UK and Cyprus were supplemented by the former BBC Eastern Relay Station in Oman and the Far Eastern Relay Station in Singapore, formerly in Malaysia. The East Asian Relay Station moved to Thailand in 1997 when Hong Kong was handed over to Chinese sovereignty. The relay station in Thailand was closed in January 2017; currently, relay stations in Singapore and Oman serves the Asian region. Together, these facilities have given the BBC World Service an easily accessible signal in regions where shortwave listening has traditionally been popular. The English shortwave frequencies of 6.195 (41m band), 9.74 (31m band), 15.31/15.36 (19m band) and 17.76/17.79 (16m band) MHz were widely known. On 25 March 2018, the long-established shortwave frequency of 9.740 MHz was changed to 9.900 MHz.
The largest audiences are in English, Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Bengali, Sinhala, Tamil, and other major languages of South Asia, where BBC broadcasters are household names. The Persian service is the de facto national broadcaster of Afghanistan, along with its Iranian audience. The World Service is available up to eighteen hours a day in English across most parts of Asia, and in Arabic for the Middle East. With the addition of relays in Afghanistan and Iraq these services are accessible in most of the Middle and Near East in the evening. In Singapore, the BBC World Service in English is essentially treated as a domestic broadcaster, easily available 24/7 through long-term agreement with MediaCorp Radio. For many years Radio Television Hong Kong broadcast BBC World Service 24/7 but as of 4 September 2017 only broadcasts the station at night. In the Philippines, DZRJ 810 AM broadcasts the BBC World Service in English from 12:00–05:00 PHT (GMT+8).
Although this region has seen the launch of the only two foreign language television channels, several other services have had their radio services closed as a result of budget cuts and redirection of resources.
Japan and Korea have little tradition of World Service listening, although during the 1970s to 1980s, shortwave listening was popular in Japan. In those two countries, the BBC World Service was only available via shortwave and the Internet. As of September 2007, a satellite transmission (subscription required) became available by Skylife (Channel 791) in South Korea. In November 2016, the BBC World Service announced it plans to start broadcasts in Korean. BBC Korean, a radio and web service, started on 25 September 2017.
The Soviet Union, Iran, Iraq and Myanmar/Burma have all jammed the BBC in the past. Mandarin was heavily jammed by the People's Republic of China until short wave transmissions for that service ceased but China continues to jam transmissions in Uzbek and has since started to jam transmissions in English throughout Asia.
The BBC World Service is broadcast in Berlin on 94.8 MHz. FM relays are also available in Ceske Budjovice, Karlovy Vary, Plzen Usti nad Labem, Zlin and Prague in the Czech Republic, Riga, Tirana and Vilnius. A BBC World Service channel is available on DAB+ in Brussels and Flanders and Amsterdam, the Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam. Following a national reorganisation of DAB multiplexes in October 2017, the station is available on DAB+ across the whole of Denmark .
The World Service employed a medium wave transmitter at Orfordness to provide English-language coverage to Europe, including on the frequency 648 kHz (which could be heard in parts of the south-east of England during the day and most of the UK after dark). Transmissions on this frequency were stopped on 27 March 2011, as a consequence of the budgetary constraints imposed on the BBC World Service in the 2010 budget review. A second channel (1296 kHz) traditionally broadcast in various Central European languages, but this frequency has also been discontinued and in 2005 it began regular English-language transmissions via the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) format. This is a digital shortwave technology that VT expects to become the standard for cross-border transmissions in developed countries. The BBC World Service still goes out from the BBC Radio 4 LW & MW transmitters from 01:00am to 05:20am UK Time and is in stereo from 01:00am to 05:20am on BBC Radio 4 FM & DAB. It has always been in mono on its own DAB channel with a bit rate of just 64 kbit/s. BBC World Service can also be heard on BBC Radio Wales from 01:00am until 05:30am on MW and FM stereo.
In the 1990s, the BBC purchased and constructed large medium wave and FM networks in the former Soviet bloc, particularly the Czech (BBC Czech Section), Slovak Republics (BBC Slovak Section), Poland (BBC Polish Section) (where it was a national network) and Russia (BBC Russian Service). It had built up a strong audience during the Cold War, whilst economic restructuring made it difficult for these governments to refuse Western investment. Many of these facilities have now returned to domestic control, as economic and political conditions have changed.
On Monday 18 February 2008, the BBC World Service stopped analogue shortwave transmissions to Europe. The notice stated, "Increasing numbers of people around the world are choosing to listen to radio on a range of other platforms including FM, satellite and online, with fewer listening on shortwave." It is sometimes possible to pick up the BBC World Service in Europe on SW frequencies targeted at North Africa. The BBC's powerful 198 kHz LW, which broadcasts the domestic BBC Radio 4 to Britain during the day (and carries the World Service during the night) can also be heard in nearby parts of Europe, including the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and parts of France, Germany and Scandinavia.
In Malta, BBC News bulletins are carried by a number of radio stations, including Radju Malta and Magic 91.7 owned by national broadcaster PBS Ltd. These are broadcast at various points in the day and supplement news bulletins broadcast in Maltese from the PBS Newsroom.
The World Service is available as part of the subscription Digital Air package (available from Foxtel and Austar) in Australia. ABC NewsRadio, SBS Radio, and various community radio stations also broadcast many programmes. Many of these stations broadcast a straight feed during the midnight to dawn period. It is also available via the satellite service Optus Aurora, which is encrypted but available without subscription. In Sydney, Australia a transmission of the service can be received at 152.025 MHz. It is also available on the DAB+ Network in Australia on SBS Radio 4 (Except during Eurovision and special events). 2MBS-FM 102.5, a classical music station in Sydney, also carries the BBC World Service news programmes at 7 and 8a.m. on weekdays, during its 'Music for a New Day' breakfast programme.
Shortwave relays from Singapore (see Asia, above) continue, but historic relays via Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Radio New Zealand International were wound down in the late 1990s. BBC World Service relays on Radio Australia now carry the BBC Radio news programmes.
In the Pacific and New Zealand, the Auckland Radio Trust operates a BBC World Service network as a non-profit donation-funded public broadcaster. It broadcasts on 810 kHz in Auckland, 107.0 MHz in Whitianga and Whangamata, 107.3 MHz in the Kaipara Harbour, 88.2 MHz in Suva and Nadi, 100.0 MHz in Bairiki and Tarawa, 101.1 MHz in Pohnpei, 107.6 MHz in Port Moresby, 105.9 MHz in Honiara, 99.0 MHz in Port Vila and Luganville, and 100.1 MHz in Funafuti. The station also broadcasts local content.
In New Zealand, Radio Tarana and members of the Association of Community Access Broadcasters carry some BBC World Service programmes. The BBC World Service was previously available on 1233 kHz in Wellington between 1990–1994, and again from 1996–1997.
The BBC World Service is broadcast on DAB, Freeview, Virgin Media and Sky platforms. It is also broadcast overnight on the frequencies of BBC Radio 4 following the latter's closedown at 0100 British time. The BBC World Service does not receive funding for broadcasts to the UK. In southeast England, the station could be picked up reliably on medium wave 648 kHz, which was targeted at mainland Europe. The medium wave service was closed in 2011 as a cost-cutting measure.
The World Service uses several tunes and sounds to represent the station. A previous signature tune of the station was a five note motif, composed by David Arnold and which comprises a variety of voices declaim "This is the BBC in..." before going on to name various cities (e.g. Kampala, Milan, Delhi, Johannesburg), followed by the station's slogan and the Greenwich Time Signal. This was heard throughout the network with a few variations – in the UK the full service name was spoken whereas just the name of the BBC was used outside the UK. The phrase "This is London" was used previously in place of a station slogan.
The tune Lillibullero was another well known signature tune of the network following its broadcast previously as part of the top-of-the-hour sequence. This piece of music is no longer heard before news bulletins. The use of the tune gained minor controversy because of its background as a Protestant marching song in Northern Ireland.
In addition to these tunes, the BBC World Service also uses several interval signals. The English service uses a recording of the Bow Bells, made in 1926 and used a symbol of hope during the Second World War, only replaced for a brief time during the 1970s with the tune to the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons. The morse code of the letter "V" has also been used as a signal and was introduced in January 1941 and had several variations including timpani, the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (which coincide with the letter "V"), and electronic tones which until recently remained in use for some Western European services. In other languages, the interval signal is three notes, pitched B–B-C. However, these symbols have been used less frequently.
The network operates using GMT, regardless of the time zone and time of year, and is announced on the hour on the English service as "13 hours Greenwich Mean Time" (1300 GMT) or "Midnight Greenwich Mean Time" (0000 GMT). The BBC World Service traditionally broadcasts the chimes of Big Ben in London at the start of a new year.
The BBC World Service previously published magazines and programme guides:
Announcing the cuts in October, the director of the BBC World Service, Nigel Chapman, said that the European services were a beacon of free and independent information during the Cold War, but were now in decline.
The BBC World Service is to close its Romanian language service, after 69 years of broadcasting.
Transmissions in Romanian will cease on 1 August.
The BBC Albanian Service (Albanian: BBC Shqiptar) was a foreign language service of the BBC World Service. It ceased operations on 28 February 2011.BBC Arabic
BBC Arabic may refer to the Literary Arabic language radio station run by the BBC World Service, as well as the BBC's satellite TV channel, and the website that serves as an Literary Arabic language news portal and provides online access to both the TV and radio broadcasts.
The radio service is broadcast from Broadcasting House in London as well as from a BBC Bureau in Cairo. The target audience is the Middle East and North Africa.BBC Bangla
BBC Bangla (Bengali: বিবিসি বাংলা) is a Bengali language service of the BBC World Service.BBC Hausa
BBC Hausa is the Hausa language service of BBC World Service meant primarily for the Hausa-speaking world in Nigeria, Ghana, Niger and the rest of Hausa speakers in West Africa. It is part of BBC foreign language output of 33 languages, of which five are African languages. The language service include radio station, Abuja bureau office and daily updated website
which serves as a news portal and provides information as well as analyses in text, audio and video and provides online access to radio broadcasts. The radio service is broadcast from Broadcasting House in London and preliminary editing done at BBC bureau office in Abuja.BBC Media Action
BBC Media Action, formerly known as the BBC World Service Trust, is the BBC's international development charity, funded independently by external grants and voluntary contributions. The purpose of the organisation is to use media and communication to reduce poverty, improve health and support people in understanding their rights. It works in partnership with the BBC World Service and other local media and development partners in over 35 developing and transitional countries around the world.BBC Urdu
BBC Urdu (Urdu: بی بی سی اردو) is the Urdu language station of the BBC World Service, accompanied by its website, which serves as a news portal and provides online access to radio broadcasts. The radio service is broadcast from Broadcasting House in London as well as from a BBC bureau in Islamabad. The target audience are Pakistanis and Indians.
Apart from specialized vocabulary, spoken Urdu is mutually intelligible with Standard Hindi, another recognized register of Hindustani. Urdu, like Hindi, is a form of Hindustani (Bharatiya). It evolved from the medieval (6th to 13th century) Apabhraṃśa register of the preceding Shauraseni language, a Middle Indo-Aryan language that is also the ancestor of other modern Indo-Aryan languages. Around 75% of Urdu words have their etymological roots in Sanskrit and Prakrit, and approximately 99% of Urdu verbs have their roots in Sanskrit and Prakrit. Because Persian-speaking sultans ruled the Indian subcontinent for a number of years, Urdu was influenced by Persian and to a lesser extent, Arabic, which have contributed to about 25% of Urdu's vocabulary.BBC World Service Television
BBC World Service Television, often abbreviated to WSTV (World Service Television), was the name of two BBC international satellite television channels between 1991 and 1995. It was the BBC's first foray into worldwide television broadcasting. In Europe, it was the successor to BBC TV Europe, which it replaced on 11 March 1991. The service was also launched in Asia as a 24-hour news and information service with minor differences, a precursor to BBC World News, launched on 14 October 1991.Unlike the BBC World Service at the time, it was not funded by the British government with a grant-in-aid. Instead, it was funded either by subscription or by commercial advertising, with advertisements that were inserted locally by the cable or satellite providers. In the years that followed, where not broadcast via a particular local provider, the BBC would insert news headlines, trailers for their own programming, and other updates to fill the gaps, these being known as "break fillers".Broadcasting House
Broadcasting House is the headquarters of the BBC, in Portland Place and Langham Place, London. The first radio broadcast from the building was made on 15 March 1932, and the building was officially opened two months later, on 15 May. The main building is in Art Deco style, with a facing of Portland stone over a steel frame. It is a Grade II* listed building and includes the BBC Radio Theatre, where music and speech programmes are recorded in front of a studio audience, and the lobby that was used as a location for filming the 1998 BBC television series In the Red.As part of a major consolidation of the BBC's property portfolio in London, Broadcasting House has been extensively renovated and extended. This involved the demolition of post-war extensions on the eastern side of the building, replaced by a new wing completed in 2005. The wing was named the "John Peel Wing" in 2012, after the disc jockey. BBC London, BBC Arabic Television and BBC Persian Television are housed in the new wing, which also contains the reception area for BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra (the studios themselves are in the new extension to the main building).
The main building was refurbished, and an extension built to the rear. The radio stations BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 4 Extra and the BBC World Service transferred to refurbished studios within the building. The extension links the old building with the John Peel Wing, and includes a new combined newsroom for BBC News, with studios for the BBC News channel, BBC World News and other news programming. The move of news operations from BBC Television Centre was completed in March 2013.The official name of the building is Broadcasting House but the BBC now also uses the term new Broadcasting House (with a small 'n') in its publicity referring to the new extension rather than the whole building, with the original building known as old Broadcasting House.Business Daily
Business Daily is BBC World Service's weekday international business news programme, which broadcasts from 8:32:30am to 8:59:00am UK time. It consists of a round up of business news around the world with international interviews and in-depth reports. The programme comes live from Broadcasting House in London.From Our Own Correspondent
From Our Own Correspondent is a weekly BBC radio programme in which a number of BBC foreign correspondents deliver a sequence of short talks reflecting on current events and topical themes in the countries outside the UK in which they are based. The programme offers the BBC's correspondents around the world a chance to give a personal account of events from the epoch-making to the inconsequential.
From Our Own Correspondent is broadcast in two editions – one on the BBC World Service and one on BBC Radio 4 – and the programme was one of the first to be made available by the BBC as a podcast.
The programme was first commissioned in 1955. A book entitled From Our Own Correspondent: A celebration of 50 years of the BBC Radio Programme was published in 2005 with a selection of the show's reports for each continent.Newsday (radio programme)
Newsday is BBC World Service's international hard news and current affairs programme. It acts as a afternoon programme for Asia, a breakfast broadcast in Europe and the UK and a overnight news programme for the Americas. It premiered on 23 July 2012. Replacing The World Today and Network Africa, the programme has a particular focus on Africa. It was expected at its launch that the programme would have one of the largest audiences - if not the largest - of any radio programme in the world.Newshour
Newshour is BBC World Service's flagship international news and current affairs radio programme, which is broadcast twice daily: weekdays at 1400, weekends at 1300 and nightly at 2100 (GMT). Each edition lasts one hour. It consists of news bulletins on the hour and half hour, international interviews and in-depth reports of world news. The BBC World Service considers it one of their most important programmes. In 2011 it was kept as one of four key outlets, despite severe cutbacks. It is also broadcast in the United States on various American Public Media stations. The programme is broadcast live from Broadcasting House in London. It covers the major news of the day, often interviewing heads of state and government ministers.Science in Action (radio programme)
Science in Action is a long-running weekly radio programme produced by the BBC World Service and currently hosted by British journalists Roland Pease and Marnie Chesterton, and scientist and broadcaster Professor Adam Hart. It is broadcast on Thursdays at 18.32 GMT and repeated twice the following day, at 01.32 and 08.32.
A programme with the title Science in Action is believed to have begun life in 1964, when it replaced an earlier series, dating from the 1950s, called Science and Industry. From September 1965 a short-lived series called Science in Action ran on the Home Service; it was broadcast at 19.30 on Thursdays, later 21.30. In December 1965 it was moved to 14.30 on Fridays. The present weekly World Service series, also called Science in Action, began on Saturday 7 July 1979.The Forum (radio programme)
The Forum, the BBC World Service's flagship discussion programme, brings together prominent thinkers from different disciplines and different parts of the world with the aim of creating stimulating discussion informed by highly distinct academic, artistic, and cultural perspectives. The World Service broadcasts the programme on Saturdays at 2106 GMT and repeats it on Sundays at 0906 GMT and on Mondays at 0206 GMT. BBC Radio 4 also broadcasts an edited 30-minute version of the programme.The World (radio program)
PRI's The World is a US public radio news magazine with an emphasis on international news. The program originated partly in response to declining coverage of international news by US commercial media. It is co-produced by the BBC World Service of the United Kingdom, Public Radio International and WGBH of the United States.
The World was PRI's first co-production. It now has several co-productions. It was also the first news co-production of the BBC World Service. For the BBC, The World was conceived as a stand-alone program and also as a template for future co-productions which might expand the reach of the BBC World Service. At its launch, it was the first program dedicated to providing global news and making a global-local connection for Americans on a daily basis.
According to the PRI website, PRI currently distributes the show to more than 300 public radio stations across the United States. The program reaches more than 2.5 million listeners every week in broadcast alone. It is primarily hosted by Marco Werman at WGBH's studios in Boston, but often includes substitute hosts including Carol Hills and Aaron Schachter when Werman is in the field. Werman, who has been with The World since its inception, hosted the program from 2010 to 2011 while then-host Lisa Mullins was on sabbatical.
The World was the first daily nationally syndicated public radio program to begin podcasting some of its content, notably its coverage of technology. Its technology podcast began on February 11, 2005, hosted by Clark Boyd. Today, numerous podcasts are available by topical area and entire programs are available as podcasts.
As of October 2009, the program also now airs on CBC Radio One in Canada as part of the CBC Radio Overnight lineup.
The theme music was composed by Eric Goldberg.
Portions of the program are repackaged and rebroadcast on the weekly BBC World Service program called Boston Calling.The World Today (radio programme)
The World Today was BBC World Service's high profile, Sony Radio Academy Award-winning, early morning news and current affairs programme, which as of 27 March 2011 was broadcast from 3:00 to 8:30 (GMT) daily. It consisted of news bulletins on the hour and half hour, serious international interviews and in-depth reports of world news. The World Service considered it to be one of their most important strands, as shown in 2011 when it was kept as one of four key outlets. It was announced on 27 June 2012 that both The World Today and Network Africa were to be axed, and from 23 July 2012 a new programme entitled Newsday would take their slot.Westway (radio series)
Westway was a radio soap opera broadcast twice a week on the BBC World Service from November 1997 to October 2005. It focused on life in and around the fictional Westway Health Centre in West London. It was named after the Westway, the main road route into London from the west.
The principal actors were Jillie Meers as Dr Margaret Sampson, head of the health centre, Nigel Carrington as Dr David Boyce, and Abi Eniola as Dr Joy Onwukwe. It was created and edited by David Hitchinson.
At its peak, it was cited that its worldwide listening figures was in the region of 1.7 million with some estimates even higher. Its axing was announced in April 2005 as part of a shake-up of World Service programming.BBC7 repeated the series between May 2004 and March 2008.World Briefing
World Briefing was BBC World Service's standard news strand. Along with The World Today, Newshour, World Update and World: Have Your Say, it covered a large part of the schedule (four hours each weekday). It was broadcast on the hour as a half-hour programme whenever other news strands are not on air. Each individual version of the BBC World Service opted in or out of various editions. Public radio stations around the world also broadcast various editions of World Briefing.
On 25 March 2013, BBC World Service announced that World Briefing would be cancelled and replaced by The Newsroom. The Newsroom first aired on 1 April 2013 at 11am GMT. Unlike World Briefing, The Newsroom airs daily on a less frequent basis (only up to 6 times per day).World Business Report (radio programme)
World Business Report is the BBC World Service's international business and finance news programme, broadcast on Mondays at 0132 and weekdays at 1532 and 2232 GMT and produced at Broadcasting House in London. Each programme is 26 minutes long and includes business news, interviews and reports.
BBC World Service