BBC World — the British pubcaster’s money-losing international news and current affairs web — has finally secured a foothold in the U.S. via Cablevision, where it will go head to head against Fox News, CNN and other news Webs.
After years of trying to win distribution, BBC World, rebranded as BBC World News, will be available first in New York.
The pubcaster’s director of global news Richard Sambrook thinks BBC World News will appeal to Americans because U.S. news nets tend to concentrate on domestic affairs.
“Studies show us that there’s a huge increase in U.S. audience demand for international news, but domestic U.S. networks seem to be focusing on fewer and fewer international stories,” he said.
The BBC’s huge international newsgathering operation, with 250 foreign correspondents in more than 50 overseas bureaus, “means we’re able to bring audiences breaking news stories from anywhere in the world within minutes,” Sambrook said.
The BBC also hopes its reputation for impartiality may help it build an audience in what is a very tough market.
BBC World is an ad-funded channel owned by BBC Worldwide. It’s distributed in the U.S. by Discovery, with whom the pubcaster has a lengthy co-production agreement.
New channel, available in around 200 countries, has so far failed to make a profit, but with a deal in the U.S., that may change.