At A Glance

The BBC is the world's leading public service broadcaster. Its mission is to enrich people's lives with programmes that inform, educate and entertain

Established by a Royal Charter, the BBC is a public service broadcaster funded by the licence fee paid by UK households.

We use the income from the licence fee to provide services including 9 national TV channels - in addition BBC Three, the first TV channel in the world to switch online in 2016 - plus regional programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and an extensive website.

BBC World Service broadcasts to the world on radio, on TV and online, providing news and information in 27 languages and world service English language.

We also have commercial operations including BBC Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of the BBC which is the primary home for the BBC’s commercial production and distribution around the world. Profits from these activities are returned to the BBC for investment in new programming and services.

The BBC’s Board is responsible for ensuring we fulfil the mission and public purposes set out in the Charter, and we are regulated by Ofcom.

BBC services on television, radio and online

Most of the BBC's services in the UK are funded from income from the licence fee:

  • Nine national television channels (BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News, BBC Parliament, BBC Alba)
  • BBC Three - the first TV channel in the world to switch online in February 2016
  • BBC Red Button interactive TV
  • 10 national radio stations (BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 6 Music)
  • National TV and radio services for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and more than 40 local radio stations for England
  • BBC Online
  • BBC World Service

Around the world, there are separate commercial ventures whose profits help fund BBC public services, including BBC Studios, and BBC World News.