BBC America

BBC America

name= BBC America
logofile=BBC America logo.jpg
launch=March 29, 1998
owner= BBC Worldwide
country= United States
language= English
headquarters= New York
sister names= Discovery Networks
web= []
terr avail=Not Available
sat serv 1=DirecTV
sat chan 1=Channel 264
sat serv 2=Dish Network
sat chan 2=Channel 135
cable serv 1 = Available on many cable systems
cable chan 1 = Check local listings for channels
dummy parameter=

BBC America is an American television network, owned and operated by BBC Worldwide Americas, and available on both cable and satellite.


The channel launched on March 29, 1998 [ [ BBC America Press - Corporate] ] , broadcasting comedy, drama and lifestyle programmes from the BBC and other British television channels.

In the early days, the channel focused on repeats of popular lifestyle shows such as Changing Rooms and Ground Force. BBC America's head of programming later stated that it was important for the channel to establish a niche since non-UK viewers found the lifestyle shows appealing. The evening schedule is where most new programming would appear.

The network removed the popular British soap opera "EastEnders" from the schedules in 2003 after low ratings, but provoked a high number of complaints from viewers which caught the attention of the media. [ [ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV and Radio | EastEnders returns to US screens] ] [ [ BBC AMERICA; Alas, 'East Enders' - New York Times] ] [ [ Arts, Briefly; A Reprieve for 'EastEnders' - New York Times] ]

After CEO Paul Lee moved to ABC Family, the network appointed Bill Hilary from the Comedy Channel. He appointed Kathryn Mitchell to the newly created position of GM. Under Hilary's tenure, BBC America was restructured; it moved its main offices to New York City and saw its programming budget increase substantially.

Distribution and availability

BBC America is distributed in association with Discovery Networks, the United States division of Discovery Communications and parent company of the Discovery Channel, which also handled affiliate and advertising sales until this moved in-house on 1 April 2008. [ [ BBC America Press - Corporate] ]

The network is not subject to funding from the UK licence fee by law: the BBC cannot fund any of its channels that are not available in the United Kingdom. [ [ BBC America - Frequently Asked Questions] ] As this is the case, the channel carries advertisements.

Outside the U.S.

BBC America is also available in Bermuda on Bermuda CableVision's digital cable TV service.

On Demand

BBC America On Demand refers to a selection of BBC America programs available as video on demand programming on many U.S. digital cable systems. These video-on-demand programs are usually available for 2-4 weeks before being rotated out. These programs are offered commercial-free though some programs are interrupted for network promos.

iTunes Store

As of Q2 2008, select BBC America Shows are available on Apple's iTunes Store.

BBC America HD

A high definition version of the channel is due to launch in 2008.


The following is a list of programming currently offered by the channel.

*"Absolutely Fabulous"
*"Bargain Hunt"
*"BBC World News America"
*"Cash in the Attic"
*"Doctor Who"
*"Dragons' Den"
*"Gavin & Stacey"
*"The Graham Norton Show"
*"How Clean Is Your House?"
*"Monty Python's Flying Circus"
*"Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares"
*"Star Stories"
*"Top Gear"
*"You Are What You Eat"

Most of the non news programming is edited either for adult content or to allow for commercials. However, many comedy programs run in specially formatted 40-minute blocks that allow them to run to their original broadcast length, though adult content is still edited. Some of the shows are not BBC produced programs, they are Channel 4 or ITV programs

Original Programming

BBC America began producing its own shows and joint productions in 2004. This has included "Sharpe's Challenge", part of the "Sharpe" series of TV movies and co-produced with ITV; also "The State Within", a co-production with the BBC; "Jekyll" and most recently BBC World News America


BBC America simulcasts several news bulletins during the day from its sister channel, BBC World News.

In the mornings (6-9am ET), the network airs a full, three-hour simulcast of BBC World News. The simulcast consists of "BBC World News" bulletins, "World Business Report", "Sport Today", "Asia Today" and a one-hour bulletin called "World News Today".

At 7-8pm ET and repeated at 10-11pm ET, BBC America airs "BBC World News America", presented live from Washington by Matt Frei. Katty Kay serves as Washington correspondent on the programme; Rome Hartman (formerly of "CBS Evening News") is executive producer.

The network was in discussions to unveil a weekly news programme fronted by "Newsnight" presenter Jeremy Paxman. He was to introduce a synopsis of Newsnight items with an international aspect and was expected to bring his brash interviewing style to bear on American politicians. "Jeremy Paxman is the sort of person that Americans will just eat up," Garth Ancier told the Financial Times. An international edition of "Newsnight" debuted on 29 February in the 10pm time slot.

During major breaking news situations, the network will sometimes take BBC World News's coverage and pre-empt regular programming. The London Bombings in July 2005 were one such example. However, BBC World News itself is not currently widely available in the U.S. as a separate channel (although it does appear on several cable systems throughout the United States, generally in lieu of BBC America; one such example is the New York based service Cablevision).

ee also

* List of DirecTV channels
* List of Dish Network channels


External links

* [ BBC America website]
* [ Anglophenia] - BBC America's blog
* [ BBC America On Demand Webpage]

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