via press release:

Record Audiences for BBC’s Arabic Services

LONDON, December 5, 2011/PRNewswire/ —

People across the Middle East have increasingly turned to the BBC during the ‘Arab Uprising’ with a record rise in audiences, according to independent research published today.

Overall audiences to the BBC’s Arabic services have risen by more than 50 per cent to a record high of 33.4 million adults weekly – up from 21.6 million before the ‘Arab Spring’.

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

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

The biggest increases were seen in Egypt, where the BBC Arabic TV audience quadrupled to a weekly reach of 16.2%, reaching 9.3 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.

“These impressive figures show that international audiences are increasingly turning to the BBC for independent news that they can trust.

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

Other headlines include:

    - BBC Arabic TV saw its weekly audience increase by 5.1% in Iraq to a weekly
      reach of 26.6% (from 21.5%) - reaching 4.9 million people
    - BBC Arabic TV saw its weekly audience more than double in Jordan (weekly reach
      of 22.4% from 8.8 per cent) and in Saudi Arabia (weekly reach of 24.6% from 12.2%)
      broadcasting to a combined total of 3.6 million people
    - In Morocco, BBC Arabic TV saw its weekly audience rise by almost four per
    - The weekly audience estimate for BBC Arabic's radio services fell from
      11.5million to 10.1million, reflecting wider changes in the region in how audiences
      are consuming news via other technologies.
    - BBC Arabic Online saw tremendous growth as a result of the Arab Spring with
      visitors to the site and page impressions peaking in February and remaining high in


Notes to Editors

This data resulted from studies that were carried out under the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ International Audience Research Program (IARP). All rights reserved.

The six audience measurement surveys took place between February and July 2011. The surveys were conducted using random sampling methods, administered by trained local interviewers, in local language. Participants were interviewed face-to-face at home by ACNeilsen. All surveys are representative of a defined adult population in each market. Audience numbers have been calculated based on the most recent population estimates for each market.

The surveys were purchased by the BBC after completion of the fieldwork.

About BBC Arabic

BBC Arabic is the BBC’s integrated news and information service for the Arab World. It is available on air and on demand 24-hours a day, seven days a week. BBC Arabic is both the largest and the oldest of the BBC’s non-English language services. Launched in 1938, the Service is one of the Arab world’s leading international broadcasters.

Source: BBC Arabic

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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