BBC sees audiences surge over coronavirus coverage
London: The BBC, under pressure from the government about its funding arrangements and impartiality, has seen a surge in audiences as a result of its coronavirus coverage, it said on Monday.
In the past week, the average audience for its 6:00 pm (1800 GMT) news bulletin on the free-to-air BBC One channel was up by 27 percent on 2019.
A total of 11.7 million viewers watched the rolling BBC News Channel last week — its biggest audience in five years, the corporation said in a statement on Twitter.
BBC News Online meanwhile recorded 70 million unique browsers from Britain alone — 36 percent higher than the week of last December’s general election.
All of the top 10 most-read stories for UK users on the platform were about COVID-19, it added.
The announcement came as the world’s biggest public service broadcaster comes under renewed scrutiny of its controversial licence-fee funding model.
The government has begun a review of the arrangement, which requires British households to pay just over £154 ($199, 170 euros) a year to watch live television. – AFP