Analysis of BBC World Service Programming Available Domestically via Radio in the United States and Canada

Contents

United States of America
Gaps in Coverage in Major U.S. Centers
Table (Number of stations in the United States broadcasting BBC World Service programs, sorted by state population)
Notes
Canada
Gaps in Coverage in Major Canadian Centers
Table (Number of stations in Canada broadcasting BBC World Service programs, sorted by provincial population)
Notes
Conclusion

United States of America

Gaps in Coverage in Major U.S. Centers

Florida - In the 4th most populated state, there are only 3 stations carrying BBC programming domestically, and none south of the city of Orlando.

Georgia - In the 10th most populated state, there is only one station carrying BBC programming, with none in Atlanta.

Louisiana - In the 22nd most populated state, there is only one stations carrying BBC programming, with none in New Orleans, Baton Rouge or Lafayette.

Maryland - In the 19th most populated state, there are only 3 stations carrying BBC programming, with none in Baltimore.

Pennsylvania - In the 6th most populated state, there are only 4 stations carrying BBC programming, with none in Pittsburgh. Also, one of the four stations only operates during the school year.

South Carolina - In the 26th most populated state, there is only 1 station carrying BBC programming, with that station being located in Sumter.

Tennessee - In the 16th most populated state, there is only 1 station carrying BBC programming, with none in Knoxville, Nashville or Memphis.

Number of stations carrying BBC in the United States

The following is the population breakdown of the United States, by state, based on Census 2000 - United States of America - April 1, 2000, in descending order, together with the total number of domestic radio outlets per state which BBC indicates as carrying BBC programming, taken from information on the BBC web site.

Number of stations in the United States broadcasting BBC World Service programs, sorted by state population
State Population # of Stations
1 California 33,871,648 10
2 Texas 20,851,820 5
3 New York 18,976,457 21
4 Florida 15,982,378 3
5 Illinois 12,419,293 4
6 Pennsylvania 12,281,054 4
7 Ohio 11,353,140 7
8 Michigan 9,938,444 10
9 New Jersey 8,414,350 7
10 Georgia 8,186,453 1
11 North Carolina 8,049,313 6
12 Virginia 7,078,515 5
13 Massachusetts 6,349,097 10
14 Indiana 6,080,485 5
15 Washington 5,894,121 10
16 Tennessee 5,689,283 1
17 Missouri 5,595,211 4
18 Wisconsin 5,363,675 17
19 Maryland 5,296,486 3
20 Arizona 5,130,632 1
21 Minnesota 4,919,479 15
22 Louisiana 4,468,976 1
23 Alabama 4,447,100 --
24 Colorado 4,301,261 5
25 Kentucky 4,041,769 2
26 South Carolina 4,012,012 1
27 Oklahoma 3,450,654 3
28 Oregon 3,421,399 2
29 Connecticut 3,405,565 --
30 Iowa 2,926,324 4
31 Mississippi 2,844,658 --
32 Kansas 2,688,418 2
33 Arkansas 2,673,400 --
34 Utah 2,233,169 3
35 Nevada 1,998,257 --
36 New Mexico 1,819,046 1
37 West Virginia 1,808,344 9
38 Nebraska 1,711,263 1
39 Idaho 1,293,953 3
40 Maine 1,274,923 6
41 New Hampshire 1,235,786 3
42 Hawaii 1,211,537 2
43 Rhode Island 1,048,319 2
44 Montana 902,195 4
45 Delaware 783,600 --
46 South Dakota 754,844 --
47 North Dakota 642,200 --
48 Alaska 626,932 4
49 Vermont 608,827 6
(NA) District of Columbia 572,059 2
50 Wyoming 493,782 13
(NA) United States 281,421,906 228

Notes

8 states (Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi, Arkansas, Nevada, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota), with a combined population of approximately 17.5 million, or 6.24% of the total U.S. population, have no domestic relays for BBC programming.

An additional 7 states (Georgia, Tennessee, Arizona, Louisiana, South Carolina, New Mexico, Nebraska), with a combined population of just over 31 million, or 11.02% of the total U.S. population, have only 1 domestic relay each for BBC programming.

It is very important to note that with very few exceptions, the stations carrying selected BBC programming are FM stations; mostly public radio outlets, or college/university stations. They are generally low powered services, often outside major cities and markets.

Many of the stations listed as carrying BBC programming do so only in the overnight periods, off prime time listening hours, most often between Midnight and 6 or 7 AM, local time

The following states, with number of stations indicated in each, carry BBC programming exclusively in the overnight period:

The following states, with number of stations indicated in each, carry BBC programming exclusively in the overnight period, with minor exceptions indicated:

Florida
2 stations, overnight only
1 station, overnight, plus 4-5 PM Saturday & Sunday
Iowa
3 stations, overnight only
1 station, overnight, plus 7-8 PM Monday to Friday
Illinois
2 stations, overnight only
1 station, 7-8 AM Sunday; 7-7:30 PM Sunday; 2:01-2:06 AM Monday to Friday
1 station, overnight, plus 8-9 PM, Sunday to Friday
Indiana
3 stations, overnight only
1 station, overnight, plus, 6, 7, 8 AM & 11 PM Monday to Friday (6 minute newscasts), 1 PM Saturday/Sunday & 9 AM Sunday (6 minute newscasts), 5-6 AM, Monday to Friday
1 station, 7-8 PM, Monday to Friday, 6-7 AM, Saturday & Sunday
Kentucky
1 station, overnight only
1 station, 5-6 AM and 9-10 AM, Monday to Friday
Michigan
4 stations, overnight only
3 stations, overnight, plus 9-10 AM Fridays
1 station, 10 PM-Midnight, Monday to Friday
1 station, 7:30-8 PM, Monday to Friday
1 station, 5-5:50 AM, Monday to Friday
Minnesota
13 stations, overnight only
2 stations which carry 6-9 AM Monday to Friday; 7-9 AM Saturday; 8-9 AM Sunday
1 station which carries 11 PM-Midnight, Friday only
North Carolina
5 stations, overnight only
1 station, 5-6 AM, Monday to Friday
Nebraska
1 station, overnight, plus 8-9 AM, Monday to Friday
Ohio
6 stations, overnight only
1 station, 6-6:30 AM & 8-9 AM Sunday; 5-6 AM & 9-10 AM Monday to Friday
Texas
2 stations, overnight only
2 stations, 8-9 AM, Monday to Friday
Wisconsin
16 stations, overnight only
1 station, 7-7:06 AM & 8-8:06 AM, Monday to Friday; 5:30-6:30 PM Monday-Thursday

The following are states and stations with very limited coverage of BBC programming:

Arizona
1 station, Monday to Friday 6:30-7 PM; one half-hour per weekday
Georgia
1 station, Monday to Friday 7-7:30 PM & 12:01-12:06 AM; 36 minutes per weekday
Louisiana
1 station, Monday to Friday 6-7 AM; 1 hour per weekday
Maryland
3 stations, Monday to Friday, 5-6 AM; 1 hour per weekday
Maine
6 stations, Monday to Friday, 5-6 AM & 2-2:30 AM; 1.5 hours per weekday
New Hampshire
3 stations, Saturday 6-7 AM & 11 PM-Midnight; Monday to Friday 10 PM-Midnight; 2 hours per day exc. Sunday
New Jersey
7 stations, Monday to Friday, 9-10 AM; 1 hour per weekday
New Mexico
1 station, Monday to Friday, 5-6 PM & 7-8 AM; 2 hours per weekday
Tennessee
1 station, Monday to Friday, 7:01-7:06 AM & 8:01-8:06 AM, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 12:01-12:06 AM, Monday to Friday, 6-6:45 AM; total 2 hours per week
Vermont
5 stations, Monday to Friday, 5-6 AM; 1 hour per weekday
1 station, Monday to Friday, 5-6 AM & 7-9 AM; Saturday & Sunday, 5-7 AM; total 19 hours per week
Washington, DC
1 station, Monday to Friday, 5-6 AM
1 station, Monday, 1-2 AM; Tuesday to Saturday, 2-3 AM; total 11 hours per week
West Virginia
9 stations, Monday to Friday, 5-6 AM; 1 hour per weekday
Wyoming
13 stations, Monday to Friday, 2-3 PM; 1 hour per weekday

The remaining states have miscellaneous BBC programming, detailed below:

California
4 stations, overnight only
5 stations, overnight plus various programming
1 station, Monday to Friday, 6:30-7 PM & 1-2 PM
Colorado
2 stations, overnight, plus various news programming
3 stations, various news programming
Massachusetts
6 stations, overnight plus various programming
4 stations, various programming
New York
9 stations, overnight only
11 stations, various programming
Oregon
2 stations, Monday to Friday, 5-7 AM; Saturday, 6-7 AM; Saturday/Sunday, 9-11 PM Sunday 6-8 AM
Rhode Island
2 stations, overnight plus various programming
Virginia
1 station, overnight only
1 station, overnight plus various programming
4 stations, various programming

Canada

Gaps in Coverage in Major Canadian Centers

Major cities such as Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton, St. John's, Charlottetown, Yellowknife and Whitehorse are all without any access to BBC programming on domestic stations, other than the 30 minute overnight broadcast on the CBC.

The overall amount of programming. in the 4 provinces where service is available, is limited and in many cases, is only available out of prime time listening hours.

Number of stations carrying BBC in Canada

The following is the population breakdown of Canada, by province/territory, based on Canadian Census - Statistics Canada, in descending order, together with the total number of domestic radio outlets per state which BBC indicates as carrying BBC programming, taken from information on the BBC web site.

Number of stations in Canada broadcasting BBC World Service programs, sorted by provincial population
Province/Territory Population # of Stations
Ontario 11,669,344 5
Quebec 7,372,448 --
British Columbia 4,063,760 1
Alberta 2,997,236 18
Manitoba 1,147,880 --
Saskatchewan 1,023,636 --
Nova Scotia 940,996 1
New Brunswick 756,598 --
Newfoundland and Labrador 538,823 --
Prince Edward Island 138,928 --
Northwest Territories 42,083 --
Yukon 30,663 --
Nunavut 27,692 --
Canada 30,568,000 25

9 provinces & territories (Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut), with a combined population of approximately 11.1 million, or 36.24% of the total Canadian population, have no domestic relays for BBC programming.

An additional 2 provinces (British Columbia, Nova Scotia), with a combined population of just over 5 million, or 16.37% of the total Canadian population, have only 1 domestic relay each for BBC programming.

As with the United States, the stations carrying selected BBC programming are predominantly FM stations; mostly public radio outlets, or college/university stations. They are generally low powered services, often outside major cities and markets, with limited coverage.

Here is the breakdown, by province, of BBC programming available domestically in Canada:

Alberta
16 stations, Sunday to Thursday, 10-10:30 PM
1 station, 5 minute newscasts, Monday-Friday, 6, 7, 8 & 9 AM
1 station, Monday-Friday, 6-7AM; 5 minute newscasts, Monday-Friday, 8 & 9 AM Tuesday, 5-5:30 AM
British Columbia
1 station, 5 minute newscasts, Monday-Friday, 7 & 8 AM, Tuesday, 6-6:30 AM
Nova Scotia
1 station, 5 minute newscast, Monday to Friday, 2 AM
Ontario
1 station, overnight, plus 5 minute newscasts, Monday-Friday, 7, 8 AM, 1, 6, 10 PM
1 station, 5 minute newscasts, Monday to Friday, 1 & 2 AM
1 station, 5 minute newscasts, Monday to Friday, 2, 7, 8, 9 AM
1 station, 5 minute newscasts, Monday to Friday, Midnight, 8 AM, Sunday 7-8 AM
1 station, 5 minute newscasts, Monday to Friday, 2 AM & Noon

Notes

In Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio One carries 30 minutes of BBC nationwide, on CBC Overnight, from 3:30 to 4 AM


Conclusion

The BBC World Service's claim that North America is adequately served with domestic relays is obviously questionable, based on this analysis. The majority of the programming which is available is news broadcasts. Many of them are condensed, 5 to 7 minute news capsules. With the exception of the overnight programming, where some variety is available, the balance of the services are generally made up of the news capsules, Newshour, The World Today and World Update. In so many cases, much of the programming is available during overnight periods, hours generally unsuitable for the masses.

Based on these findings, it is obvious that regular shortwave BBC World Service listeners will be unable to access, via radio, the quantity, quality and variety of programming they have grown accustomed to through the shortwave service of BBC.

Prepared by: Sheldon Harvey, Greenfield Park, Quebec
President, Canadian International DX Club
June 3, 2001

Disclaimer: The information and statistics presented in this report are based on information made available through the BBC Online web page. Any discrepancies between this information and programming actually aired on any of the domestic services listed on the BBC Online web page are unavoidable. The actual broadcast schedules of BBC programming on each of the stations listed on the BBC Online web page have not been verified with each station. Details have been taken at face value as being accurate at the time of posting.