The BBC World Service is an international broadcaster owned and operated by the BBC. It is the world's largest of any kind.
It broadcasts radio news, speech, and discussions in more than 40 languages to many parts of the world on analog and digital shortwave platforms, internet streaming, podcasting, satellite, DAB, FM, and MW relays. In 2015, The World Service reached an average of 210 million people a week (via TV, radio, and online).
In November 2016, the BBC announced that it would start broadcasting in additional languages including Amharic and Igbo, in its biggest expansion since the 1940s.
The World Service is funded by the United Kingdom's television license fee, limited advertising, and the profits of BBC Studios. The service is also guaranteed £289 million (allocated over a five-year period ending in 2020) from the UK government. The World Service was funded for decades by grant-in-aid through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government until 1 April 2014.
BBC World Service English maintains eight regional feeds with several program variations, covering, respectively, East and South Africa; West and Central Africa; Europe and the Middle East; Americas and Caribbean; East Asia; South Asia; Australasia; United Kingdom. There are also two separate online-only streams with one being more news-oriented, known as News Internet. The service broadcasts 24 hours a day.