Annual Review 2007/2008

A year in brief

Bangladesh - man holding child in front of home destroyed by Cyclone Sidr

BBC World Service’s weekly global audience estimate is 182 million. BBC World Service is now available in 154 capital cities on FM, as well as via satellite, cable, podcasts, mobiles and online – in addition to short and medium wave. There were significant audience increases of 1.1 million in Nigeria and 0.9 million in India (where radio audiences are now over 20 million a week); a new audience of 1.2 million was recorded in Sierra Leone; and although the year also saw a decrease in Bangladesh, following a sharp increase in 2006/07, audiences there remain well above 2005 levels. English language audiences overall were up by 2 million. BBC Arabic’s television channel launched. It is the first Grant-in-Aid funded television channel for BBC World Service. The BBC World Service’s online sites attracted a record 259.6 million page impressions in March 2008, compared to 189.8 million in March 2007 – an increase of 37%. The international websites continued to respond to high information demand at times of crisis; the site reached over 1 million unique users in November 2007. Traffic to more than doubled over the year, bringing the total weekly users to 1.4 million. The number of weekly unique users of the BBC World Service websites combined with the international news site in English averaged 13.2 million in March 2008, up 11% on the previous year. BBC World Service’s Grant-in-Aid funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for 2007/08 was £255 million. BBC World Service delivered £6.5 million efficiency savings in 2007/08. The BBC’s Global News division – BBC World Service radio, BBC World News television and our international-facing online news sites – reached a combined global weekly audience of over 233 million, with many people using more than one service.