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Record audiences for BBC’s Arabic services

Monday 05 Dec 2011
Audiences of the BBC’s Arabic services have risen by more than 50 percent to a record high of 33.4 million adults weekly during the ‘Arab Uprising’ – up from 21.6 million before the ‘Arab Spring’.

Record audiences for BBC's Arabic services

BBC Arabic TV’s audience has risen to 24.4 million from 13.5 million – up by more than 80 percent. Weekly reach across Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco has nearly doubled to a weekly reach of 18.4 percent from 9.8 percent.

The weekly audience estimates are based on an independent study that was carried out by the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ International Audience Research Programme (IARP). Surveys were conducted in Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco. The results were published today.

Biggest increases were seen in Egypt, where the BBC Arabic TV audience quadrupled to a weekly reach of 16.2 percent, reaching 9.3 million people. BBC Arabic TV saw its weekly audience more than double in Jordan (weekly reach of 22.4 percent from 8.8 percent) and in Saudi Arabia (weekly reach of 24.6 percent from 12.2 percent) reaching a combined total of 3.6 million people. Its weekly audience also increased by 5.1 percent in Iraq to a weekly reach of 26.6 percent (from 21.5 percent), reaching 4.9 million people

Liliane Landor, Controller, Languages, BBC Global News, said: “In turbulent times, the BBC’s aim to provide trusted news and impartial information is more valued than ever across the Middle East and North Africa.”

“In an increasingly competitive TV market, it demonstrates there will always be space for high-quality journalism that seeks to inform all, even-handedly.”