COVID-19 sees surge in BBC audiences | Daily News


 

COVID-19 sees surge in BBC audiences

BBC - the world's biggest public service broadcaster.
BBC - the world's biggest public service broadcaster.

UK: The BBC, under pressure from the government about its funding arrangements and impartiality, has seen a surge in audiences as a result of its COVID-19 coverage, it said on Monday.

In the past week, the average audience for its 6:00 pm (1800 GMT) news bulletin on the free-to-air BBC One channel was up by 27 percent on 2019.

A total of 11.7 million viewers watched the rolling BBC News Channel last week -- its biggest audience in five years, the corporation said in a statement on Twitter.

BBC News Online meanwhile recorded 70 million unique browsers from Britain alone -- 36 percent higher than the week of last December's general election.

All of the top 10 most-read stories for UK users on the platform were about COVID-19, it added.

The announcement came as the world's biggest public service broadcaster comes under renewed scrutiny of its controversial licence-fee funding model.

The government has begun a review of the arrangement, which requires British households to pay just over 154 ($199, 170 euros) a year to watch live television.

In the last financial year to April 30, the broadcaster received 3.7 billion in funding from the licence fee -- an enviable revenue stream in tough economic times for media organisations.

But the government has said that in an era of live streaming, on-demand and subscription services, it may need to adapt and secure new sources of revenue.

The BBC had been planning to end free TV licences for the over-75s on June 1 but has now pushed back the date to August 1 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Government contingency plans include advice for over-70s most vulnerable to the virus to stay at home, possibly for months. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his ruling Conservatives have accused the BBC of bias in its reporting the general election, and the divisive debate surrounding Brexit.

But outgoing BBC director-general Tony Hall rejected those claims in January, telling staff: “In an era of fake news, we remain the gold standard of impartiality and truth. " - AFP


Visit Kapruka.com Sri Lanka's Largest online shop. Over 125,000 unique categories such as Fresh Flowers, Cakes, Food, Jewllery, Childrens Toys and other Sri Lankan e-commerce categories. Low delivery cost to most cities here and free delivery in Colombo.

Add new comment