Global media giant BBC has hit a record reach of 468.2 million people a week, an 11 per cent increase, as people scramble for reliable information during the coronavirus pandemic.
The British broadcaster has seen its fortunes in Africa pay off as BBC News in Africa reached 132 million people a week across 30 TV programmes and 12 language services.
Kenya came second in Africa with 14.6 million viewers who consume BBC news, after Nigeria at 37 million viewers. Tanzania came third with 14 million viewers, according to the 2020 Global Audience Measure.
The increase in the audience reached this year, BBC said, solidifies the company’s strategic investment in targeting users through various traditional and digital platforms.
“This is a clear message from our audience in Africa that the BBC truly is their home for trusted and reliable news,” said BBC Head of Africa Journalism Sam Mugera.
“These figures also show that the BBC’s investment in six new language services, digital expansion and TV programmes is a success story. We serve a dynamic and mobile audience with an insatiable appetite for distinctive journalism.”
BBC recorded the highest reach for any international media organisation in the world with 310 million people accessing coverage across 42 languages since the onset of the pandemic.
“Access to the trusted news can literally be a matter of life and death in these extraordinary times. At the BBC we’re proud of the trust we have built with African audiences and I’m delighted that this year’s figures reflect sustained and significant growth in this vital global market,” said BBC Director of World Service Jamie Angus.
The company had received an investment from the UK government, dubbed ‘World 2020’ initiative, which the company used to develop new programmes to attract viewers in Africa.
Some of these programmes are Sport Africa, investigative Africa Eye and Life Clinic, which explores health and well-being for an African audience.