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Expanded distribution in the US for BBC World News

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Richard Porter | 17:11 UK time, Friday, 14 December 2012

This week viewers to BBC World News have been watching a series of reports focusing on the Arab uprisings, two years after they first began. Correspondents have been in Damascus, Tunis, Cairo, the Syria-Lebanon border and elsewhere. Their eyewitness TV reporting is accompanied by further explanation and analysis on our website, These are expert journalists, with years of experience and knowledge, living the story on behalf of the audience. They demonstrate our commitment to reporting the world, and bringing clarity to complex events.

Until now, however, viewers in the world's biggest TV market, the US, have found it hard to access BBC reporting of this kind. The market is saturated with TV channels, but for the past couple of years we've been very focused on securing widespread carriage on the distribution systems which bring TV into most homes.

So today the BBC is delighted to announce we have agreed to a partnership with the US cable giant - Time Warner Cable - and through this and other deals, a further 10 million homes in the US will have access to BBC World News 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This means by the end of this year we will be available in 25 million homes, including those in most of the major markets - New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston. There is still some way to go before we can say we have reached everyone - but 2012 has been a year of significant breakthroughs for us in the US.

The BBC is already well-known in America through its partnerships with public radio, through the success of our website, and because of our nightly broadcast on public television fronted by Katty Kay. We believe our brand of high-quality, intelligent and non-partisan journalism has something to offer US audiences, and we're determined to make access to our services as simple as possible.

The timing could not be better. We're just a few weeks away from the first broadcasts of BBC World News from our brand new headquarters in central London. Three new studios, a big investment in production and journalism, and working more closely with BBC journalists working in English and 27 other languages - it's more than just a new home, it's a new start. We're delighted to share that even more widely.

Richard Porter is controller of English at BBC Global News



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