BBC America homes in on U.S.

Figures show channel can be seen in almost half of cable homes

LONDON — BBC America, the British pubcaster’s U.S. cable outlet, is seen in more than 40 million U.S. homes, more than HBO, according to new data from Nielsen Media Research.

The latest distribution figures show the channel can be seen in almost half of all U.S. cable homes (88 million); in 37% of all U.S. TV homes (108 million); and in more homes than HBO, which reaches 30.5 million.

“This is a huge milestone for the network and a significant moment for British television in the American market,” said Jo Petherbridge, BBC America’s acting chief operating officer.

BBC America launched in March 1998 and is expected to go into profit by 2006.

Net has gained critical acclaim for fare such as double Golden Globe-winning comedy “The Office.” However, it faces an uncertain future because of speculation that some or all of the BBC’s channel businesses may be sold off after the review of commercial arm BBC Worldwide.

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