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BBC World Service Audience Drop

In wake of budget cut, overall listening falls; however, online audience increased

Meeting a mandated a 16 percent cut in funding has lead to a falling of global audiences for the BBC World Service by some 14 million listeners.

The British foreign-service broadcaster saw its audience slip from 180 million in mid 2010 to 166 million in mid 2011.

To meet the budget cuts, the broadcaster eliminated multiple language services and shifted some operations from shortwave and medium wave to local FM relays, mobile platforms and to the Internet. By 2014, some 650 BBC World Service positions will have been eliminated.

Although total listenership declined, the BBC World Service did see a 40 percent increase in its online audience, rising from 7 million in 2009/10 to 10 million in 2010/11. English-language listenership was also up over the previous year will a total weekly reach of 43 million. In the United States, the BBC World Service garnered a new audience high of 10 million listeners. BBC Arabic TV services also saw a significant increase in viewership.