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BBC World News Launches on DirecTV

BBC World News America said it launched Friday on DirecTV (channel 346) in high-definition format, a move that takes the global-news programmer above the 40-million home mark in terms of U.S. distribution.

The channel is not Nielsen rated, but its last big distribution gain was on AT&T U-Verse (which has a pending merger with DirecTV) a year ago, taking it above the 30-million home mark. Other big distributors stateside are Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, Charter and Cablevision. The network credited gains coming from carriage deals secured by AMC Networks, which represents BBC World News in distribution talks, and noted the DirecTV launch places the service on a full-time basis in all U.S. TV markets. That came as part of the AMC Networks purchase of 49.9% of sister service BBC America and partnership with BBC Worldwide.

BBC World News has the largest audience of any BBC channel in the world, the broadcaster said, broadcasting in more than 200 countries and territories and having more than 85 international news bureaus around the world.

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