BBC fleshes out plan for combined news channel

BBC News has fleshed out plans for its new combined TV news channel, which will launch next year, replacing its two existing separate news channels for UK and international audiences.

The channel, which will simply be called BBC News, is expected to launch in April 2023.

The channel will be broadcast globally, and the BBC said it would give licence fee payers in the UK ad-free access to a range and breadth of international coverage which hasn’t previously been available to them.

The channel will feature new flagship programmes commissioned for multiple platforms.

UK viewers will receive specific content at certain times of the day, and during certain news stories. A new live and breaking news team will provide universally available coverage of global breaking news, and, when relevant, a domestic-only stream for UK-specific news events.

The channel will be broadcast from London during UK daytime hours, and then Singapore and Washington DC. The BBC will invest in new on and off-screen journalism roles in Washington DC.

Sports programming will be a mixture of the UK-facing Sportsday and new global-facing sports programmes.

The BBC will also invest in building programmes based on popular radio shows, using new technology and studio capacity . This will begin with the BBC Radio 5 Live Nicky Campbell programme, which will be broadcast on BBC Two on weekday mornings as well as on the UK stream of the new channel.

BBC Studios will continue to have responsibility for securing commercial revenues from the channel outside the UK, primarily through advertising, but the channel will remain ad-free in the UK.

The plans are now subject to consultation

“Our aim is to create the best live and breaking video news service in the world – on our web pages, our apps, on BBC iPlayer and on our new TV news channel.The way audiences consume news is changing. In recent years we’ve seen a huge surge in audiences coming to our live coverage, with tens of millions following live pages when big stories and events unfold,” said BBC News digital director Naja Nielsen.

“As the world’s most trusted source of news, with a huge depth and breadth of expertise, the BBC is uniquely placed to offer audiences the best analysis and explanation as these stories are unfolding. So we are investing in new capability to cover breaking news stories, and our news channel and digital teams will work hand in hand to bring the best journalism to audiences both at home and abroad.”

Tags: BBC, UK

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