BBC World newscasts acquired by overlaps
BBC demonstrated there are many unexpected ways to slice and sell its program inventory, announcing with Long Island pubcaster WLIW that the station will broadcast and syndicate BBC World newscasts to other public stations even though the half-hour newscasts already appear on its new U.S. cable network, BBC America.
The newscasts will be carried by pubcasters reaching 30 percent of the TV audience, including such "overlap" stations as KOCE in the Los Angeles area, KTEH in the Bay area, WHUT in Washington and WPBA in Atlanta, as well as KDTN in Dallas and WPBT in Miami.
The newscast gets far less exposure on BBC's four-month-old cable service. BBC America now reaches only about 300,000 cable homes nationwide, said Rubert Gavin, new chief executive of BBC Worldwide. "Our obligation is to make sure consumers have access to our content on whatever platform they choose," he said in an interview.
Starting Nov. 1, WLIW and other stations carrying ITN World News can replace it with the BBC newscasts. WLIW and the affiliated Program Resources Group will also distribute This Week, a weekly review from BBC.
WLIW signed a three-year deal with BBC and has an option for two more years, said Cass.
The BBC package will cost about the same as ITN's but will offer news coverage from a far larger corps of correspondents, and more recent news for all U.S. time zones, since six editions at different hours will be tailored for U.S. viewing, WLIW President Terrel Cass said.
The Long Island station will carry live BBC World newscasts at 6 a.m., 7 p.m. (after the NewsHour) and late night.
Gavin, a former telecom executive in Britain, started July 1 as chief exec of BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster's overseas marketing arm. BBC's mandate to Gavin is to quadruple cash flow by 2006, now at $125 million, he said. The intake is now about 5 percent of the BBC's budget of $3.2 billion, he said. Gavin said his New York-based lieutenant will be Peter Phippen, new chief exec of BBC Worldwide Americas.
Web page posted May 19, 2008
Copyright 1998 by Current Publishing Committee