BBC America explained

BBC America
Launch:March 29, 1998
Owner:BBC Worldwide
Slogan:"We Speak English"
Picture Format:480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Country:United States
Headquarters:New York City
Sister Names:Discovery Networks
BBC World News
Terr Avail:Not Available
Sat Serv 1:DirecTV
Sat Chan 1:Channel 264
1264 VOD
Sat Serv 2:Dish Network
Sat Chan 2:Channel 135 (SD/HD)
Sat Serv 3:C-Band—H2H/4DTV
Sat Chan 3:AMC 18—Channel 202
Cable Serv 1:Available on many cable systems
Cable Chan 1:Check local listings for channels
Adsl Serv 1:AT&T U-verse
Adsl Chan 1:Channel 188
Adsl Serv 2:Verizon FiOS
Adsl Chan 2:Channel 189

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


The channel launched on March 29, 1998,[1] broadcasting comedy, drama and lifestyle programs from BBC Television and other British television broadcasters like ITV and Channel 4.

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 television 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.[2] [3] [4]

After CEO Paul Lee moved to ABC Family, the network appointed Bill Hilary from Comedy Central. 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.

The channel was led by Garth Ancier, who was the president of BBC Worldwide Americas from February 2007 until 2010, when he was succeeded by former MTV Networks executive Herb Scannell. Meanwhile, Perry Simon serves as general manager.[5]

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 April 1, 2008.[1]

The network is not subject to funding from the UK license fee by law: the BBC cannot fund any of its channels that are not available in the United Kingdom.[6] As this is the case, the channel carries advertisements.

Outside the US

BBC America is available in Bermuda on both Bermuda CableVision's digital cable TV service,[7] and the WOW (World on Wireless) service.[8] It is also available in the US Pacific territory of Guam on MCV Broadband cable service[9] and GTA TeleGuam's IPTV service,[10] the only territory outside North America where the channel is available.

iTunes Store

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

Zune Marketplace

As of June 2009, select BBC America shows are available on Microsoft's Zune Marketplace.

BBC America HD

BBC America HD, a 1080i high definition simulcast version of BBC America, is carried nationally by Dish Network, and regionally on Time Warner Cable,[11] Cox Communications and some smaller providers.


See main article: List of programs broadcast by BBC America.

The following is a list of some of the current programming that is currently airing on the channel. While many of the shows were produced by the BBC, some of the shows were produced by other British networks. There are also some re-runs of American programming.

Most of the non-news programming is edited either for adult content or to allow for commercials. However, occasionally comedy shows run in specially formatted 40-minute blocks and a few first run drama programs in a longer block that allow them to run to their original broadcast length, though adult content is still edited.

Original programming

In the mid 2000s, BBC America produced a few of its own shows along with some joint productions. This has included Sharpe's Challenge, part of the Sharpe series of TV movies and co-produced with ITV; also The State Within and Jekyll which were co-productions with the BBC. Its first sole-produced original series is Copper which will premiere in the summer of 2012.[13]


BBC America simulcast several newscasts during the day from its sister channel, BBC World News.

The weekday morning (6:00–9:00 am ET) simulcast which included BBC World News newscasts, World Business Report, Sport Today, Asia Today and a one-hour newscast called World News Today, was canceled for a brief period without any announcement on April 6, 2009. The weekend morning (6:00–6:30 am ET) simulcast was also abruptly canceled on April 4, 2009. According to BBC America the simulcast was canceled because of disappointing ratings.[14] BBC World News was replaced in its morning time slot by re-runs of Cash in The Attic and Gordon Ramsay's F Word. The morning simulcast returned on May 18, 2009 and now airs from 4:00–8:00 am on weekdays. The weekday morning simulcast now includes BBC World News newscasts, World Business Report, Sport Today, and GMT with George Alagiah.

From 2007 to 2011, BBC America aired BBC World News America, presented live from Washington by Matt Frei. Katty Kay served as Washington correspondent. On February 18, 2011, it was announced that BBC World News America would be discontinued on BBC America and would instead be airing only on BBC World and local PBS stations in the United States.[15]

The network was in discussions to unveil a weekly news program fronted by Newsnight host 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 February 29, 2008, in the 10 pm time slot. This program was canceled in November 2008, but the cancellation was not announced until April 2009.[14]

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 US as a separate channel (although it does appear on several cable systems throughout the United States, generally in lieu of BBC America; one previous example is the New York based service Cablevision which until August 2011, did not carry BBC America) or in a 30-minute telecast on public television stations daily.

External links

Notes and References

  1. BBC America Press - Corporate
  2. BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV and Radio | EastEnders returns to US screens
  3. BBC AMERICA; Alas, 'East Enders' - New York Times
  4. Arts, Briefly; A Reprieve for 'EastEnders' - New York Times
  5. Web site: Home - BBC America Press. 2011-12-17.
  6. BBC America - Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Welcome To Bermuda CableVision
  8. WOW :: World On Wireless - Bermuda
  9. MCV Broadband Guam: High-Definition Television
  10. Guam Cable TV vs GUdTV - Schedules and Channel line up - GTA Teleguam
  11. BBC America HD Launches in NYC on TWC
  12. Web site: Richard Hammond's Crash Course - Launch Trailer. BBC America. BBC. 24 March 2012.
  13. News: BBC America gives details about its first original drama, 'Copper'. Los Angeles Times. 2012-01-04. Joy. Press. 2012-01-17.
  14. BBC America drops BBC World
  15. Web site: 'BBC World News America' Shifts To BBC World News - 2011-02-18 20:13:35 | Multichannel News. 2011-12-17.