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British Broadcasting Corporation
Industry Predecessor Founded Founder(s) Headquarters Area served
Broadcasting British Broadcasting Company 18 October 1922 Sir John Reith City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom Worldwide Sir Michael Lyons (Chairman, BBC Trust) Mark Thompson (Director-General) Television, Radio & Online www.bbc.co.uk
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the principal public service broadcaster in the United Kingdom, headquartered in the Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff. Its main responsibility is to provide public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The BBC is an autonomous public service broadcaster that operates under a Royal Charter. Within the United Kingdom its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, which is charged to all United Kingdom households, companies and organisations using any type of equipment to record and/or receive live television broadcasts; the level of the fee is set annually by the British Government and agreed by Parliament. Outside the UK, the BBC World Service has provided services by direct broadcasting and re-transmission contracts by sound radio since the inauguration of the BBC Empire Service in December 1932, and more recently by television and online. Though sharing some of the facilities of the domestic services, particularly for news and current affairs output, the World Service has a separate Managing Director, and its operating costs have historically been funded mainly by direct grants from the UK government. These grants were determined independently of the domestic licence fee. A recent spending review has announced plans for the funding for the world service to be drawn from the domestic licence fee.
The Corporation's 'guaranteed' income from the licence fee and the World Service grants are supplemented by profits from commercial operations through a wholly owned subsidiary, BBC Worldwide Ltd. The company's activities include programme- and format-sales, magazines including Radio Times and book publishing. The BBC also earns additional income from selling certain programmemaking services through BBC Studios and Post Production Ltd., formerly BBC Resources Ltd, another wholly owned trading subsidiary of the corporation.
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1 History 2 Governance o 2.1 BBC Trust o 2.2 Executive Board o 2.3 Corporate structure 3 Finance o 3.1 Revenue o 3.2 Expenditure 4 Headquarters and regional offices 5 Services o 5.1 Television o 5.2 Radio o 5.3 News o 5.4 Attitudes toward the BBC in popular culture 6 Criticism and controversies 7 Other media venues o 7.1 Internet o 7.2 Interactive television o 7.3 Commercial services o 7.4 Music o 7.5 Miscellaneous 8 Unions 9 Cultural significance 10 See also 11 References 12 Bibliography 13 Further reading 14 External links
Further information: Timeline of the BBC Main article: British Broadcasting Company
The first transmission was on 14 November of that year. The superiority of the electronic system saw the mechanical system dropped early the following year. Western Electric.The BBC coat of arms The privately owned BBC was the world's first national broadcasting organisation and was founded on 18 October 1922 as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. Television broadcasting was suspended from 1 September 1939 to 7 June 1946 during the Second World War. Experimental television broadcasts were started in 1932 using an electromechanical 30 line system developed by John Logie Baird. and member of the first BBC Board of Governors. in Torquay with the BBC among the 23 founding broadcasting organisations. alternating between an improved Baird mechanical 240 line system and the all electronic 405 line Marconi-EMI system.. and an expanded service (now named the BBC Television Service) started from Alexandra Palace in 1936.. "As I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted . A widely reported urban myth is that.?" The European Broadcasting Union was formed on 12 February 1950. the first person to appear when transmission resumed was Jasmine Bligh and the words said were "Good afternoon. The company was wound-up and on 1 January 1927 a new non-commercial entity called the British Broadcasting Corporation established under a Royal Charter became successor in interest. General Electric. Radio Communication Company. The motto is generally attributed to Montague John Rendall. The original company was founded in 1922 by a group of six telecommunications companies—Marconi. Metropolitan-Vickers. The motto is said to be a "felicitous adaptation" of Micah 4: 3 "nation shall not lift up a sword against nation". . London. and British Thomson-Houston—to broadcast experimental radio services. from station 2LO. Limited regular broadcasts using this system began in 1934. Jasmine Bligh . To represent its purpose and values. incorporating the motto "Nation shall speak peace unto Nation". upon resumption of service. the Corporation adopted the coat of arms. The British Broadcasting Company Ltd was created by the British General Post Office (GPO) and John Reith applied for a job with the existing company and later became its employee general manager. former headmaster of Winchester College... announcer Leslie Mitchell started by saying. everybody." In fact. How are you? Do you remember me. located at Marconi House.
in 1964. including Radio London. in which the BBC was praised for the quality and range of its output. the BBC has faced increased competition from the commercial sector (and from the advertiserfunded public service broadcaster Channel 4). BBC2 used the higher resolution 625 line standard which had been standardised across Europe. In 1978 BBC staff went on strike just before the Christmas of that year. The 405 line VHF transmissions of BBC1 (and ITV) were continued for compatibility with older television receivers until 1985. In January 2007. Unlike the other departments of the BBC. more commonly known as the Foreign Office or the FCO. The Home Service became Radio 4 offering news. In the early days it carried out essential research into acoustics and programme level and noise measurement. On 18 October 2007. the BBC released minutes of the Board meeting which led to Greg Dyke's resignation. This led to resignations of senior management members at the time including the then Director General. the decision was taken to award the BBC a second television channel. created initially to provide subtitling. In 1974. and was joined by BBC 1 and ITV on 15 November 1969. is the British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom abroad. BBC Director General Mark Thompson announced a controversial plan to make major cuts and reduce the size of the BBC as an . cable television. but developed into a news and information service. readings. In response the BBC reorganised and renamed their radio channels. thus blocking out the transmission of both channels and amalgamating all four radio stations into one. the BBC monopoly on radio services would persist into the 1970s. renaming the existing service BBC1. and digital television services. BBC2. especially on satellite television. dramas and plays. and non-musical content such as quiz shows. was introduced. and ITV was very heavily criticised for not providing enough quality programming. the BBC's teletext service. The BBC Research Department has played a major part in the development of broadcasting and recording techniques. BBC2 was broadcast in colour from 1 July 1967. Since the deregulation of the UK television and radio market in the 1980s. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office. a series of local BBC radio stations were established in 1967. The 2004 Hutton Inquiry and the subsequent Report raised questions about the BBC's journalistic standards and its impartiality. The "Third" programme became Radio 3 offering classical music and cultural programming. As a result of the Pilkington Committee report of 1962. Ceefax. However. BBC World Service is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As well as the four national channels. Greg Dyke.Competition to the BBC was introduced in 1955 with the commercial and independently operated television network ITV. The Light Programme was split into Radio 1 offering continuous "Popular" music and Radio 2 more "Easy Listening". and forced the British government finally to regulate radio services to permit nationally based advertising-financed services. Starting in 1964 a series of pirate radio stations (starting with Radio Caroline) came on the air.
BBC Trustees are appointed by the British monarch on advice of government ministers.500. Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence. The Trust sets the strategy for the corporation. independent from direct government intervention. Representing the UK. who have threatened a series of strikes. Promoting education and learning. Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK. It states that the Corporation exists to serve the public interest and to promote its public purposes: • • • • • • Sustaining citizenship and civil society. reducing programming output by 10% and selling off the flagship Television Centre building in London. the Board of Governors. replacing the Board of Governors as the governing body of the Corporation. educate and entertain". however the BBC have stated that the cuts are essential to move the organisation forward and concentrate on increasing the quality of programming.800 redundancies. assesses the performance of the BBC Executive Board in delivering the BBC's services. General management of the organisation is in the hands of a Director-General.  BBC Trust Main article: BBC Trust The BBC Trust was formed on 1 January 2007. The current members of the Trust are: • Sir Michael Lyons (Chairman) . regions and communities. The plans included a reduction in posts of 2. who is appointed by the Trust. and appoints the Director-General. These plans have been fiercely opposed by unions. including 1. and taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television. The current Charter came into effect on 1 January 2007 and runs until 31 December 2016. he is the BBC's Editor-in-Chief and chairs the Executive Board.organisation. This Charter also created the largest change in the governance of the Corporation since its inception. with its activities being overseen by the BBC Trust (formerly the Board of Governors). Helping to deliver to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services.  Governance The BBC is a corporation. and replaced it with the BBC Trust and a formalised Executive Board. It abolished the sometimes controversial governing body. The 2007 Charter specifies that the mission of the Corporation is to "inform. consolidating news operations. its nations. The Royal Charter is reviewed every 10 years.
BBC Vision) Tim Davie (Director. Director. (also chairman. Chief Executive.• • • • • • • • • • Richard Ayre Diane Coyle Anthony Fry Alison Hastings Dame Patricia Hodgson Rotha Johnston Elan Closs Stephens David Liddiment Bill Matthews Mehmuda Mian The post of Vice Chairman is currently vacant  Executive Board The Executive Board is responsible for operational management and delivery of services within a framework set by the BBC Trust. Mark Thompson. BBC Audio & Music) Erik Huggers (Director. co-founder and Chief Executive. BBC People) Zarin Patel (Chief Financial Officer) Caroline Thomson (Chief Operating Officer) Peter Salmon (Director. Executive directors: • • • • • • • • • Mark Thompson (Chairman of the Executive Board. and is headed by the DirectorGeneral. BBC North) Non-executive directors: • • • • • • Marcus Agius (senior non-executive director). Barclays Robert Webb QC. Journalism Group) Jana Bennett OBE (Director. and the BBC's Editor-in-Chief) Mark Byford (Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board. BBC Worldwide Ltd) former General Counsel. Juniper Communications Val Gooding former Chief Executive of BUPA  Corporate structure • • • Trust Unit Director-General's Office Content Groups: . Rexam Dr Samir Shah OBE. The Executive Board consists of both Executive and NonExecutive directors. British Airways Dr Mike Lynch OBE. Chairman. Director-General. Autonomy Corporation David Robbie. Future Media & Technology) Lucy Adams (Director. Deputy DirectorGeneral. Group Finance Director.
  Revenue See also: Television licence and Television licensing in the United Kingdom The principal means of funding the BBC is through the television licence. £1. with BBC Worldwide contributing some £145 million to the BBC's core public service business. however no licence is required to own a television used for other means.26 billion in 2009/10 compared to £5. Sport and Global News) Vision (incorporates television production and commissioning) Audio & Music (incorporates radio and music production and commissioning) o Future Media & Technology (incorporates web-based services plus Research and Development) Professional Services: o Operations (incorporates policy. property and distribution) o Marketing. Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Treasury and approved by Parliament via legislation.50 per year per household (as of April 2010). Additional revenues are paid by the Department for Work and Pensions to compensate for subsidised licences for eligible over-75 year olds. costing £145. or for sound only radio sets (though a separate licence for these was also required for non-TV households until 1971) The cost of a television licence is set by the government and enforced by the criminal law. its income can be broken down. legal. a process defined in the Communications Act 2003. This TV Licensing collection is currently carried out by Capita. The revenue is collected privately and is paid into the central government Consolidated Fund. Such a licence is required to receive broadcast television within the UK. strategy.9 billion for British Sky Broadcasting. A 50% discount is also offered to registered blind. A discount is available for households with only black-and-white television sets. Communications and Audiences o Finance o BBC People (incorporates human resources and training) Commercial Groups: o BBC Worldwide Ltd o BBC Studios and Post Production Ltd. an outside agency. According to the BBC's 2008–2009 Annual Report. Funds are then allocated by the Department of Culture. formerly BBC Resources o o o  Finance The BBC has the second largest budget of any UK broadcaster with an operating expenditure of £4.9 billion for ITV and £214 million in 2007 for GCap Media (the largest commercial radio broadcaster). as follows: . Income from commercial enterprises and from overseas sales of its catalogue of programmes has substantially increased over recent years.• • Journalism (incorporates News.
£41.52 BBC TWO £1. for having a threatening nature and language used to scare evaders into paying.9 million from BBC Commercial Businesses. an obligation to pay a licence fee is no longer appropriate. £294. The amount of each licence fee spent monthly breaks down as follows: Department Monthly cost (GBP) BBC ONE £3.6 million from government grants. It has been argued that in an age of multi stream. The BBC's use of private sector company Capita Group to send letters to premises not paying the licence fee has been criticised. The licence fee has. such as providing content to overseas broadcasters and concert ticket sales. 2. These letters and adverts have been criticised by Conservative MPs Boris Johnson and Ann Widdecombe. however.04 BBC Radio 1.02 . There are a number of pressure groups campaigning on the issue of the licence fee. multi-channel availability.• • • • £3.1 million from other income.08 Nations and English Regions television £1. 4 and Five Live £1. £775.8 million in licence fees collected from householders.52 Transmission and collection costs £1. Audio clips and television broadcasts are used to inform listeners of the BBC's comprehensive database.  Expenditure The BBC gave two forms of expenditure statement for the financial year 2005–2006. attracted criticism. The BBC uses an advertising campaign to inform customers of the requirement to pay the licence fee.493. 3. or do not require a TV licence. especially as there have been cases where such letters have been sent to premises which are up to date with their payments.
54 The total broadcasting spend for 2005–2006 is given as: Department Total cost (£million) Television 1443 Radio 218 BBC Online 72 BBC jam 36 Interactive TV (BBCi) 18 Local radio and regional television 370 Programme related spend 338 Overheads and Digital UK 315 Restructuring 107 Transmission and collection costs 320 Total 3237  Headquarters and regional offices .Digital television channels Nations' and local radio BBC Online BBC Jam Digital radio stations Interactive TV (BBC Red Button) Total £1.00 68p 36p 14p 10p 8p £10.
which includes the Media Centre. London. As part of a major reorganisation of BBC property. Broadcasting House (Cardiff). Well-known buildings in the White City and Shepherd's Bush area include BBC Television Centre and the White City complex. Following completion Broadcasting House will also be home to most of the BBC's national radio stations. is the official headquarters of the BBC. England The headquarters of BBC Northern Ireland at Broadcasting House on Ormeau Avenue. Broadcast Centre and Centre House. and BBC 7.The headquarters of the BBC at Broadcasting House in Portland Place. BBC Television Centre Broadcasting House in Portland Place. although many of these will move by 2011 to the purpose-built MediaCityUK in Salford. They are BBC Radio 3. Renovation of Broadcasting House began in 2002 and is scheduled for completion in 2012. Broadcasting House (Belfast). but much of it is due to return to . BBC News is currently based at White City. Northern Ireland Main article: List of BBC properties Further information: Broadcasting House. BBC Radio 4. characters from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. sculpted by Eric Gill. The major part of this plan involves the demolition of the two post-war extensions to the building and construction of an extension designed by Sir Richard MacCormac. Greater Manchester. On the front of the building are statues of Prospero and Ariel. Belfast. By far the largest concentration of BBC staff in the UK exists in White City and Shepherd's Bush in West London. London. and the BBC World Service. It is home to three of the ten BBC national radio networks (of which five are currently digital only services not carried on conventional 'analogue' radio). the entire BBC News operation is expected to relocate from the News Centre at BBC Television Centre to the refurbished Broadcasting House to create what is being described as "one of the world's largest live broadcast centres".
Manchester but moving to MediaCityUK by 2011) Leeds (Quarry Hill) Bristol (Broadcasting House Bristol). on completion of the redevelopment there. Greater Manchester. Southampton . This will mark a major decentralisation of the Corporation's operations from London. there are seven other major BBC production centres in the UK: • • • • • • • • Cardiff (Broadcasting House Cardiff) Belfast (Broadcasting House Belfast) Glasgow (BBC Pacific Quay) Birmingham (The Mailbox) Manchester (currently based in Oxford Road. As well as the two main sites in London (Broadcasting House and White City). the BBC is planning to move several departments including BBC Sport and BBC Children's. which is home to the world-famous BBC Natural History Unit. .Home of the BBC's biggest 'English Region' BBC South There are also many smaller local and regional studios scattered throughout the UK. along with the World Service. Newcastle BBC Scotland's and BBC Alba's HQ in Glasgow. as well as BBC Radio 5 Live north to newly built premises in Salford Quays.Broadcasting House. Scotland.  Services  Television Main article: BBC Television BBC North East & Cumbria. In 2011.
BBC News. It is also the first multi-genre channel to come entirely from Scotland with almost all of its programmes made in Scotland. received off-air. BBC Two was also the first channel to be transmitted on 625 lines in 1964. Switzerland and the Netherlands. A new Scottish Gaelic television channel. CBBC and CBeebies. . BBC Four. From 9 June 2006. or via 'deflectors' – transmitters in the Republic which rebroadcast broadcasts from the UK. These variations are more pronounced in the BBC 'Nations'. BBC Parliament.MediaCity:UK. was launched in September 2008. i. albeit on analogue only. In the Republic of Ireland. where the presentation is mostly carried out locally on BBC One and Two. though most regions still have the ability to 'opt out' of the main feed. On 3 November 2010. or from digital satellite. Digital television is now in widespread use in the UK. and states that it hopes to produce 100% of new programmes in HDTV by 2010. Scotland and Wales. BBC One would follow in November 1969. Manchester In the UK. the BBC began a 6–12 month trial of high-definition television broadcasts under the name BBC HD. The service is currently[when?] only available via satellite and cable television. Several digital only stations are also broadcast: BBC Three. BBC Alba. the BBC channels are available in a number of ways. allowing members of UK military serving abroad to watch and listen to them on two dedicated TV channels. BBC One and BBC Two are the BBC's flagship television channels. The corporation has been producing programmes in the format for many years. although viewers in the Republic of Ireland may receive BBC services via 'overspill' from transmitters in Northern Ireland or Wales. BBC Two and BBC World News. the BBC has also provided its TV programmes to the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS). Northern Ireland. and two children's channels.e. a high-definition simulcast of BBC One was launched. In these countries digital and cable operators carry a range of BBC channels these include BBC One. with analogue transmission being phased out by December 2012. then carry a small-scale regular colour service from 1967. BBC Two variations within England are currently rare. BBC One is a regionalised TV service which provides opt-outs throughout the day for local news and other local programming. Since 1975.
since strictly the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom so the funding for the Guernsey and Jersey broadcasts comes largely from locally collected licence fees. The BBC does not offer separate local services for the Isle of Man. with local TV news coverage from BBC Channel Islands.  Radio Further information: BBC Radio. BBC Radio Scotland.9 million weekly listeners) Radio 3 (classical and jazz music) Radio 4 (current affairs. and on DAB Digital Radio in the UK. In addition the BBC World Service is now also broadcast nationally in the UK on DAB. 6 Music (less mainstream genres of music). sports and talk) In recent years some further national stations have been introduced on digital radio platforms including Five Live Sports Extra (a companion to Five Live for additional events coverage).BBC Guernsey and Jersey. with 12. BBC Radio nan Gaidheal (in Scots Gaelic). drama & children's programming) and BBC Asian Network (British South Asian talk. though not all languages are broadcast in all areas. factual. the Service was broadcasting in 33 languages and dialects (including English). the BBC began experimenting with live streaming of certain channels in the UK.BBC Radio Jersey.In 2008. The BBC also provides separate local radio services for the Channel Islands of Guernsey. 1Xtra (for black. BBC Radio 7 (comedy. drama and comedy) Radio 5 Live (24 hour news. with a weekly audience estimate of 163 million listeners worldwide. BBC Radio Ulster. As of 2005. all standard BBC television channels were made available to watch online. and BBC Radio Foyle. which is broadcast worldwide on shortwave radio. For a worldwide audience. and in November 2008. music and news in English and in many South Asian languages). news and music in England and the Channel Islands as well as national stations (Nations' radio) of BBC Radio Wales. partly because the island has long been served by the independent commercial radio station Manx Radio. These services are provided as a convenience. There is also a network of local stations with a mixture of talk. urban and gospel music). the BBC produces the BBC World Service funded by the Foreign Office. BBC Local Radio The BBC has five major national stations: • • • • • Radio 1 ("the best new music and entertainment") Radio 2 (the UK's most listened to radio station. a station which had evolved from BBC Local Radio origins in the 1970s and still is broadcast on Medium Wave frequencies in some parts of England. . The World Service is a major source of news and information programming and can be received in 150 capital cities worldwide. BBC Radio Cymru (in Welsh).
[not in citation given] providing services to BBC domestic radio as well as television networks such as the BBC News. the BBC announced that it would substantially reduce its radio broadcasting in Thai language (closed in 2006) and Eastern European languages and divert resources instead to a new Arabic language satellite TV broadcasting station (including radio and online content) in the Middle East to be launched in 2007. the BBC did not enjoy a complete monopoly before this as several Continental stations (such as Radio Luxembourg) broadcast programmes in English to Britain since the 1930s and the Isle of Man based Manx Radio began in 1964. which broadcasts in countries where British troops are stationed. Ceefax and BBC News Online. was launched as the first (and now oldest) legal independent radio station in the country. New BBC News services that are also proving popular are mobile services to mobile phones and PDAs. the BBC was the only (legal) radio broadcaster based in the UK mainland until 1967. However. Desktop news alerts. and digital TV alerts are also available. BBC Radio 1 is carried in the United States and Canada on XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.  News Main article: BBC News BBC News is the largest broadcast news gathering operation in the world. and regional BBC radio stations. In April 2005.In 2005. The BBC is a patron of The Radio Academy. the BBC has also provided radio programming to the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BBC Parliament and BBC World News. the BBC began trials offering a limited number of radio programmes as podcasts. Historically. Since 1943. All of the national. as well as the BBC World Service. local. as well as BBC Red Button. then under the name Radio York. e-mail alerts. are available over the Internet in the RealAudio streaming format. when University Radio York (URY). .
a nickname originally dubbed by Peter Sellers in The Goon Show in the 1950s. the UK audience overwhelmingly turns to the BBC's coverage as opposed to its Weekly reach of the BBC's five national analogue radio stations commercial rivals. text and HTML). At peak times during the day there were 40. the BBC's first director general. The previous day's announcement of the 2012 Olympics being awarded to London caused a peak of around 5 Gbit/s. On 7 July 2005. is "Auntie". was in charge.Ratings figures suggest that during major  crises such as the Weekly reach of all the BBC's services in the UK 7 July 2005 London bombings or a royal funeral. Another nickname. when he referred to the "Beeb Beeb Ceeb". BBC News received some 1 billion total hits on the day of the BBC Television Centre at White City.  Attitudes toward the BBC in popular culture Older domestic UK audiences often refer to the BBC as "the Beeb".2 Gbit/s. The previous all time high at BBC Online was caused by the announcement of the Michael Jackson verdict. It was then borrowed. the day that there were a series of coordinated bomb blasts on London's public transport system. and Auntie has been used in outtake programmes such as Auntie's Bloomers. shortened and popularised by Kenny Everett. event (including all images. serving some 5. West London.5 terabytes of data. which used 7. The two nicknames have also been used together as "Auntie Beeb".000 page requests per second for the BBC News website. . said to originate from the old-fashioned "Auntie knows best" attitude (but possibly a sly reference to the "aunties" and "uncles" who were presenters of children's programmes in early days) in the days when John Reith. Weekly reach of the BBC's domestic television services the BBC Online website recorded an all time bandwidth peak of 11 Gb/s at 12:00 on 7 July. now less commonly used.
and it is common for viewers and listeners to be told website addresses for the website sections relating to that programme.uk allowed legal downloads of selected archive material via the internet. then bbc. Some have proposed that the amount of licence fee money spent on bbc. The website uses GeoIP technology and carries advertisements when viewed outside of the UK. in July 2008 BBC Online was the 27th most popular English Language website in the world. and initially used peer-to-peer and DRM technology to deliver both radio and TV content of the last seven days for offline use for up to 30 days. In recent years some major on-line companies and politicians have complained that the bbc. Criticism and controversies Main articles: BBC controversies and Criticism of the BBC  Other media venues  Internet Main article: BBC Online The BBC's online presence includes a comprehensive news website and archive. This. and the 46th most popular overall. The site also allows users to listen to most Radio output live and for seven days after broadcast using the BBC iPlayer platform. providing high-quality interactive resources designed to stimulate learning at home and at school. bbc. before it was rebranded back as BBC Online. BBC Jam was a free online service. before being renamed BBCi. was made permanent.co. Also. A new version of the BBC homepage was launched in December 2007.co. Initial content was made available in January 2006 however BBC Jam was suspended on 20 March 2007 due to allegations made to the European Commission that it was damaging the interests of the commercial sector of the industry. which launched on 27 July 2007. meaning that other websites are unable to compete with the vast amount of advertising-free online content available on bbc.co. The website includes a page for every programme on television and radio. In response to this the BBC carried out an investigation.co.uk should be reduced—either being replaced with funding from advertisements or subscriptions.uk.co.uk website receives too much funding from the television licence. As of February 2008 the BBC has also offered television programmes for download on Apple iTunes under the studio title "BBC Worldwide". since then video is now streamed directly. and . through participation in the Creative Archive Licence group. The BBC claims the site to be "Europe's most popular content-based site" and states that 13. It was launched as BBC Online.2 million people in the UK visit the site's more than two million pages each day. According to Alexa's TrafficRank system.uk. or a reduction in the amount of content available on the site. on 28 February 2008. with the new site enabling the user to customise the BBC's internet services to their own needs. delivered through broadband and narrowband connections.
BBC Canada (alongside BBC Kids). BBC World News and co-runs. and will guide users to other websites for currently existing market provision. G. instead of providing local events information and timetables. bbc. Recent examples include the interactive sports coverage for football and rugby football matches and the 2008 Olympic Games. On 26 February 2010 The Times claimed that Mark Thompson.  Interactive television Main article: BBC Red Button BBC Red Button is the brand name for the BBC's interactive digital television services. the Middle East.  January 2011: Online service will cut around 360 jobs and close hundreds of websites as part of 'a more streamlined' approach inline with cutting budget by 25 percent from Poundsterlling 137 million to 103 million by 2013/14. Director General of the BBC. BBC Soundbites which starred young actress Jennifer Lynn and an interactive national IQ test.co. All of the BBC's digital television stations. Test the Nation. the UKTV network of stations in the UK. and Dave. Africa. including news and weather. BBC television news appears nightly on . and rediverting money to redevelop other parts. which are available through Freeview (digital terrestrial). (and radio stations on Freeview).has now set in motion a plan to change the way it provides its online services. amongst others. BBC Red Button provides viewers with over 100 interactive TV programmes every year. broadcast popular BBC programmes to people outside the UK. producers of. as does UK. allow access to the BBC Red Button service. as well as Freesat.O. with online staff numbers and budgets reduced by 25% in a bid to scale back BBC operations and allow commercial rivals more room. BBC Red Button is able to display full-colour graphics. and video. As well as the 24/7 service. A similar service. and Asia). ceased broadcasts in April 2006 after its Japanese distributor folded. BBC America. Unlike Ceefax. (For example.TV (co-run with Foxtel and Fremantle Media) in Australasia.L.) Part of this plan included the BBC closing some of its websites.  Commercial services BBC Worldwide Limited is the wholly owned commercial subsidiary of the BBC responsible for the commercial exploitation of BBC programmes and other properties. Sky (satellite). as well as programmes. users will be guided to outside websites already providing that information. proposed that the BBC's web output should be cut by 50%. In addition.uk will now attempt to fill in gaps in the market. photographs. BBC Japan.D. with Virgin Media. and Virgin Media (cable). The cable and satellite stations BBC Prime (in Europe. including a number of television stations throughout the world. the BBC reported that it will cut its website spending by 25% and close BBC 6 Music and Asian Network. BBC Worldwide also runs a 24-hour news channel. On 2 March 2010.
and archive classical music recordings. including the BBC Concert Orchestra. documentaries and historical drama productions are popular on the international DVD market. BBC World News. BBC Good Food. Also many famous bands have played at the BBC. the BBC Symphony Orchestra. and it is the oldest surviving entity of its kind. has bases or correspondents in more than 200 countries and. initially as BBC Radio Classics and then BBC Legends. the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. formerly known as BBC Publications. a show with which the broadcaster has been associated for over 50 years. its journalism arm. the BBC Singers and the BBC Symphony Chorus. including BBC Lifestyle. The BBC's reach is significantly more than CNN's estimated 200 million. talking books and material from radio broadcasts of music. such as The Beatles (The Beatles Live at the BBC is one of their many albums). BBC History. as do reruns of BBC programmes such as EastEnders. a Polish version of BBC Entertainment launched in Poland. BBC Knowledge and BBC Entertainment. BBC Worldwide also own the biggest travel guidebook and digital media publisher in the world.  Music The BBC runs orchestras and choirs. the BBC Philharmonic. most notably Doctor Who (including books and merchandise). publishes the Radio Times (and published the now-defunct The Listener) as well as a number of magazines that support BBC programming such as BBC Top Gear.many Public Broadcasting Service stations in the United States. The BBC has traditionally played a major role in producing book and music tie-ins with its broadcast material. BBC Sky at Night. BBC Worldwide owned the independent magazine publisher Origin Publishing. and in New Zealand on TV One. BBC Records produced soundtrack albums. . Lonely Planet. BBC Worldwide also licences and directly sells DVD and audio recordings of popular programmes to the public. the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In December 2007. BBC Wildlife and BBC Music. BBC Worldwide also maintains the publishing arm of the BBC and it is the thirdlargest publisher of consumer magazines in the United Kingdom. BBC Magazines. The BBC is also responsible for the United Kingdom coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest. though also possibly far more individual persons and groups than surveys can gather. Between 2004 and 2006. as officially surveyed. the BBC Television Orchestra (1936– 1939). BBC Worldwide also produces several branded channels available on satellite in Asia and India. and comedy. is available to more than 274 million households. Many BBC programmes (especially documentaries) are sold via BBC Worldwide to foreign television stations. BBC Big Band.
Doctor Who and Pot Black. Miscellaneous The BBC and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office jointly run BBC Monitoring. entertainment and sport. Union membership is optional. but other examples can be given in each of these fields as shown by the BBC's entries in the British Film Institute's 2000 list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes. and simultaneously united the nation. This heralded the transformation of television into a popular and dominant medium. the organisation now makes more use of regional accents in order to reflect the diversity of the UK. and apart from suspending service throughout World War II until 1946. and is paid for by staff members and not by the BBC. "throughout the 1950s radio still remained the dominant source of broadcast comedy". popularisation. Monty Python's Flying Circus. From its 'starchy' beginnings. Claudius. because they all pay the licence fee. Civilisation.  Unions Staff at the BBC are normally represented by BECTU. It "reached into every home in the land. Examples are cited such as I. In the 1980s. and domination of television. the BBC has remained one of the main elements in British popular culture through its obligation to produce TV and radio programmes for mass audiences. The export of BBC programmes. and now attempts to accommodate the interests of all strata of society and all minorities. radio was the broadcast medium upon which people in the United Kingdom relied. documentaries. current affairs. television. though clarity and fluency are still expected of presenters.  Cultural significance Until the development. gossips and personal secrets is often called 'BBC'. Further. The influence of BBC as a broadcaster of world news is such that in India. The BBC introduced the world's first "highdefinition" 405-line television service in 1936. along with journalistic staff by the NUJ and electrical staff by Amicus. the press and the internet worldwide. an important factor during the Second World War". The term BBC English (Received Pronunciation) refers to the former use of Standard English with this accent. "The BBC's monopoly was broken in 1955. Tonight. someone notorious for spreading news. the BBC was the only legal radio broadcaster until 1968 (when URY obtained their first licence). Nevertheless. which monitors radio. was the only television broadcaster in the UK until 1955. the BBC developed several PCs. with the introduction of Independent Television (ITV)". the BBC World Service and BBC World have meant that BBC productions have also been experienced worldwide. most notably the BBC Micro. the arrival of BBC2 allowed the BBC also to make programmes for minority interests in drama. . Even after the advent of commercial television and radio. the BBC has also become more inclusive. However. staff are not automatically covered by a union. However.
Sky and other broadcast television stations. Channel 4. .Competition from Independent Television. but such public broadcasting remains a major influence on British popular culture. has lessened the BBC's influence.
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