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BBC World signs up to Greengrass to reach wider audience

LONDON – BBC World has become the latest broadcaster to sign up to Greengrass, the world's first pre-pay online broadcast network.

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The 24-hour international news and information channel is joining ITN, motoring channel Revs TV and a number of other channels that are participating in the beta trial ahead of a full consumer launch in January.

The BBC World service will go live in the next few weeks in all territories, excluding the UK, and offer programmes in high quality video to broadband subscribers around the world.

Jeff Hazell, BBC World's distribution and business development director of sales and distribution, said: "We see broadcasting on GreenGrass as complementary to traditional television. Broadband access and wireless hot spots are now widespread, so people often have access to an internet-connected PC when there is no TV in their control."

The latest move by BBC World is part of a wider objective to reach as wide an audience as possible through traditional and new-media platforms.

Until now BBC World has concentrated on providing news, business, sports and current affairs through cable and satellite platforms.

BBC World recently signed up with mobile operator Orange in France, MTC Vodfafone in Bahrain and Rogers Communications in Canada.

Anne Barnard, BBC World chief operating officer, said: "Television around the world is changing dramatically and people are accessing TV in many different ways. In the next 10 years there is likely to be less definition between the two.

"We see this as a new way to provide news updates and generate new audiences as well as providing a more varied service to existing viewers and we have had a lot of interest all over the world."

BBC World is available in more than 200 countries, reaches 270m households and is funded by advertising and subsription.

The Greengrass pre-pay system enables viewers to watch pay-content from any broadcaster on Greengrass, paying by the minute.

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