Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Releases

BBC to reinstate FM broadcasts via Sri Lankan national broadcaster SLBC

BBC World Service is to reinstate its FM programming on the Sri Lankan national broadcaster SLBC from Thursday 15 April. This will be the first BBC programming on the SLBC FM network for 14 months.

The BBC suspended its programmes in the English, Sinhala and Tamil languages on 10 February 2009, following deliberate interference in its broadcasts.

During the suspension, the BBC's services in all three languages remained available in Sri Lanka via short wave – on, and via the internet – and news bulletins in English via the Sri Lankan commercial broadcaster MBC.

Director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks, said: "The BBC wishes to rebuild its partnership with SLBC – part of a strong relationship with listeners in Sri Lanka that goes back to the Forties.

"We have been reassured by SLBC that our contractual agreement will be respected, which guarantees that our programmes in English, Sinhala, and Tamil are broadcast uninterrupted.

"We are pleased that we can now offer listeners to the SLBC FM network the BBC programmes they used to enjoy. Our audiences understand that in order to cover news events in the most comprehensive and balanced way, the BBC adheres to specific editorial values that include impartiality, editorial independence and seeking a relevant range of views on any topic.

"It is something audiences value. It is the only way we can meet our audiences' high expectations and maintain our reputation as the world's most trusted international broadcaster."

Notes to Editors

These are the short wave frequencies and timings to hear BBC services in Sri Lanka:

BBC Tamil
1545-1615 GMT = 21.15-21.45 Local Time
15690 kHz (19mb), 15390 kHz (19mb), 9860 kHz (31 mb), 7435 kHz (41 mb)

BBC Sinhala
Live FM broadcast will be at:
1545-1615 GMT = 2115-2145 Local Time on SLBC Sinhala National Service
Sinhala Programme will be repeated on shortwave at:
1630-1700 GMT = 2200-2230 Local Time
13630 kHz (22 mb), 7435 kHz (41 mb)

BBC World Service in English
Details of BBC World Service programmes and services in English can be found at:

Mainstays of the 24-hour-a-day coverage (but mainly daytime) are 17790 kHz (16 mb) and 15310 kHz 19 (mb).
Evenings: 11915 kHz (25 mb), 9740 kHz (31 mb), 7355 kHz (41 mb), 5975 kHz (49 mb).

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster delivering 32 language and regional services. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 188 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. Its news sites, which received 4.7 million weekly visitors in September 2009, include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices. For more information, visit For a weekly alert about BBC World Service programmes, sign up for the BBC World Agenda e-guide at:

BBC World Service International Publicity

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