The BBC is on track to achieve a record half-a-billion global viewers by the time of its centenary celebrations in 2022.
The forecast is based on the Global Audience Measure (GAM) published today, which records the total weekly number of adults accessing the BBC around the world.
The GAM found the broadcaster had achieved its largest ever global audience of 489 million adults every week, a staggering increase of more than 20 million from the previous year.
BBC’s international news services also reached record levels with 456 million weekly viewers. This included audiences for World Service languages, World Service English, World News TV, BBC.com and BBC Media Action.
“I am delighted that the BBC now informs, educates and entertains more people around the world than ever before,” said BBC director-general, Tim Davie.
“The fact that our audience has more than doubled in the last decade shows how trusted and increasingly valued BBC services are right around the world.
“It also highlights the important role we play for Britain on the global stage in carrying the UK’s voice, democratic values and influence.”
Senior controller of BBC News International Services and director of BBC World Service, Liliane Landor added, “We have seen how vital our output has been to audiences in moments of jeopardy, from the Covid-19 pandemic to elections and conflicts.
“The BBC has strengthened its position in markets of need such as Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where access to trusted impartial news is paramount.”
The BBC World Service continued to be the broadcaster’s most important growth catalyst, currently reaching 364 million weekly viewers.
Other growth factors included enhanced digital platforms, increased dealings with new language services – such as Pidgin and Igbo – and increased visits to BBC.com, particularly during the 2020 US presidential election.
The top 10 countries by BBC News audience are:
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