New money for the World Service
As part of the recent Defence Review, the Government announced a big increase in funding for the World Service.
It will receive an extra £85m a year from 2017-20. In effect, this means that the present budget for the World Service will be ring fenced and will not be cut disproportionately when the new licence fee comes in.
The extra money will be spent across the board – with enhanced TV services for Africa, new radio and digital services for Ethiopia and Eritrea, additional language services for Nigeria and India, new radio services for North Korea and enhanced digital and TV services in Russian.
This expansion will help the World Service move towards its goal of reaching an audience of 500 million people weekly by 2022. It will also help the BBC to respond to the challenge posed by growing investment in other global news services such as CCTV and RT.