BBC gets its US 24-hour channel in deal with Discovery

LONDON – The BBC will launch its international 24-hour news channel, BBC World News, in the US after a deal between Discovery Communications and BBC World.

Broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, BBC World News will be the only international news channel in Discovery's portfolio of more than 25 network entertainment brands including Discovery Kids, Animal Planet and Travel Channel.

Until now, BBC World News was only shown in the US in 30-minute daily broadcasts on public television station WLIW. 

The deal was first mooted in October last year when the BBC added an early morning news broadcast to its US service, BBC America.

BBC World News is owned by BBC World, one of the BBC's commercial companies. The channel is funded by advertising and subscription and currently broadcasts in 128m homes in 200 countries worldwide.

The news comes following the New York Daily News reporting last month that: "BBC World News is the best model out there for serious coverage in a tight TV format".

The deal aims to replicate the success of the BBC US entertainment channel, BBC America, home to the UK version of 'The Office' and 'Fawlty Towers' and also broadcasts on Discovery's US network.

Jeff Hazell, BBC World's director of distribution and business development, said Discovery's experience and success with the BBC brand to date, will be invaluable in the rollout of the BBC World News.

Hazell said: "Discovery Communications is the market leader, committed to delivering the highest quality channels and marketing support to the US multichannel industry."

Bill Goodwyn, president of affiliate sales and marketing at Discovery Networks, said: "US consumers are ready for this unique news service -- one that provides an impartial, global perspective on domestic and world events."

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