It's been said that most college students get their news from one of two sources—The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on the American television network Comedy Central, and from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the United Kingdom.

In an era where Turner's CNN and Murdoch's FOX News seize the airwaves for political spins, university students enjoy the bulletins and news programs from the BBC. Sirius Satellite Radio calls the BBC World Service "legendary for its depth of analysis and impartiality of perspective." XM Radio carries the BBC for its "standards of unbiased reporting on which the World Service was founded."


BBC in the United States is different from BBC in the United Kingdom. In the UK, the BBC has a variety of channels on television and radio offering general interest and educational programming. BBC Radio networks offer everything from music and breakfast morning programs to news and current events. BBC also offers a channels dedicated to British Parliament, called BBC Parliament (Americans have something similar, called C-SPAN, another channel university students enjoy). The BBC faces stiff competition from British SKY Broadcasting, a satellite television service which runs its own channels and is owned by Rupert Murdoch of NewsCorp. In the United Kingdom, the BBC is funded by a television licence imposed on Britons. This keeps many BBC channels commercial-free. There are two channels run by the BBC that are not available in the UK: BBC Prime and BBC World Service. BBC Prime is a collection of BBC programming available throughout Europe, and BBC World Service is the world version of the UK's BBC 24.

In the United States, the BBC is found on cable and satellite services. BBC America is a popular channel on pay television services and is run by both the BBC and the Discovery Channel. BBC World Service can be found on C-BAND satellite, but is not yet available on any cable or major satellite services. BBC World News, the BBC bulletin news program on the BBC World Service, is occasionally shown on local PBS affiliates via terrestrial television. This varies by PBS station, though. Some PBS stations also carry a variety of BBC original comedies.

BBC News in Davis

Davis residents and students can enjoy BBC News in many ways.

  • Terrestrial television: Those with rabbit-ears can receive BBC News weekdays at 5PM on KVIE, Channel 6.
  • Cable: BBC Parliament is responsible for the program British House Of Commons, which airs Wednesday and Sunday on C-SPAN. Digicable customers can receive BBC News on BBC America, though this is mostly in the early morning hours.
  • Satellite television: Same as cable.
  • Satellite radio: BBC World Service can be heard on XM Satellite stream 131. BBC World Service can be heard on Sirius Satellite stream 141.
  • Internet: All BBC radio stations are available to listen to via the internet. Newsworthy stations include the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, and BBC Radio 5 (also covers sports news) . Podcasts for selected radio shows are available on iTunes (in the 'News & Politics' category).
  • Other: Those with a Shortwave radio can find frequencies for BBC World Service shortwave channels on the BBC website. Occasionally, BBC News is carried by National Public Radio affiliate 88.9 KXJZ in Sacramento.

Other BBC Programming in Davis

Davis residents and students can enjoy non-news BBC programming in many ways.

  • Terrestrial television: Stuck in the 20th Century? So are many BBC comedies shown on the weekend via KVIE, Channel 6.
  • Cable: Many BBC comedies and quiz shows are shown on BBC America. KVIE can also be seen on cable services.
  • Satellite television: Same as cable.
  • Satellite radio: Only Sirius offers BBC programming outside of the BBC World Service. Sirius offers the Spanish eqivalent of BBC World called BBC Mundo on stream 182. BBC Radio 1, heard in Britain offering breakfast morning programs, music, news bulletin updates and dance music on the weekends, can be found on Sirius stream 11.
  • Internet: BBC news and extended coverage on special events and programming can be found on the BBC website.
  • Other: Many BBC comedies can be found on VHS and DVD through speciality video companies. Some movies are affiliated with the BBC, including ''Billy Elliott'' and the 1988 version of ''Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe''. Many university students find subliminal political messages and dark humor in BBC comedies and movies. BBC shows like ''Monty Python'' are cult classics among university students.

BBC News Resources

  • BBC News at (first time users will be asked to select between UK and World editions)
  • BBC News at TV-ARK (mostly for BBC 24, the UK channel)
  • Sirius Satellite Radio subscribers listen free to BBC online at
  • On LiveJournal, a community dedicated to BBC freaks
  • On LiveJournal, a community for those of us who like the BBC, but aren't freaks about it