BBC World News provides a British perspective on international events. It offers a great way for Americans to get a different perspective on things. And for cord-cutters, getting BBC World News is pretty easy. Read on to learn more!
In a hurry? Regardless of your price point, there is a streaming service for you:
- Sling TV: A bit more expensive but it offers a better selection of channels. Save 50% on your first month of Sling TV.
- FuboTV: Sports fans will love this service with over 110 channels including lots of news, family, and entertainment content. FuboTV allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
- DIRECTV STREAM: Get lots of options with this full-cable replacement service that provides an all-in-one option. Get DIRECTV STREAM free for 5 days.
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There are few things Americans find as reassuringly matter-of-fact as a British person reporting the news. It can get tiring watching MSNBC and Fox News. Brits just sound smarter, better educated, and much more erudite. So it’s little wonder that in a time when more Americans aren’t sure who to trust anymore, they turn to the BBC in the form of BBC World News.
What is BBC World News
BBC World News is run by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as an international 24-hour news channel. Like similar news channels Al Jazeera, France 24, and CNN International, its target audience is outside its home country.
In the US, AMC Networks is the BBC’s partner and agent for both BBC America and BBC World News. It controls distribution and US domestic advertising sales, effectively making BBC World News an AMC Networks channel — together with AMC, IFC, Sundance TV, Allblk, WE tv, Shudder, and Acorn TV.
BBC World News Shows
Current BBC World News shows in North America include:
- Asia Business Report
- BBC World News
- BBC World News America
- ClickTalking Business
- Focus on Africa
- Global with Matthew Amroliwala
- Impact with Yalda Hakim
- Live with Lucy Hockings
- Our World
- Outside Source
- Sport Today
- Talking Movies
- The Travel Show
- World Business Report.
Streaming Services with BBC World News
As a pay TV channel, BBC World News requires a subscription, traditionally through a cable or satellite provider. Nowadays, though, you can stream yourself some live TV over the interwebs.
Why would you do that? Because it’s cheaper and more flexible, there are no contracts or commitments, and no required proprietary equipment rentals or installation visits.
Most of the live TV streaming services carry BBC World News. The major exception is Hulu + Live TV.
DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) is one of the more expensive services, especially when the channels you want are not in the base package (Entertainment). To get BBC World News, you’ll have to ascend to the lofty peaks of the Ultimate package, which is $104.99/mo for 130+ channels.
The good news is that, at that level, you’ll have access to pretty much every news and weather station it offers, which is most of them, including hard-to-find networks like BNC. Also included are your local broadcast networks, streaming on up to 20 screens at a time in your home. Also, unlimited DVR. You also get access to its unequalled selection of regional sports networks (RSNs).
Read our DIRECTV STREAM review for details.
FuboTV is for soccer fans. Premier League, Coppa Italia, Ligue 1, Real Madrid, Primeira Liga, CONMEBOL — it’s got them all. If you want BBC World News too, though, you’ll have to upgrade. There are a couple of ways to do this.
If news is your thing, the base plan should satisfy you. But the New Plus add-on ($2.99/mo) gives you eight US and international channels. Alternatively, you could get Fubo Extra ($7.99/mo), which comes with 46 channels including a number of other news, family, and sports channels.
For more, see our FuboTV review.
If you really do depend on BBC World News for pretty much all your news, you might just be okay with Philo. Named for the inventor of the TV, Philo’s got over 60 channels for $25/mo, and that is not a typo.
They give you a 7-day free trial, unlimited DVR, and up to 3 screens streaming at once. What’s the downside? No WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Disney, local stations, sports channels, or any other news channels. If those sound like pluses instead of liabilities to you, then go for it; you cannot do better on price.
For more information, see our Philo review.
Sling TV offers you choices. Lots and lots of choices. Typically, if you’re a news fan, we’d say go with Sling Blue, but if you’re into BBC World News it doesn’t really matter. It’s available in both the Blue and Orange News Extra.
Sling Blue and Orange both cost $35/mo each, or $50/mo together, after a 3-day trial. All plans include 50 hours of DVR storage. Sling Blue can stream on up to 3 devices at a time but Orange is limited to one. The aforementioned News Extra gives you 10-15 more news and info channels for $6/mo additional. As a bonus, if it’s British TV you fancy, Sling also has Acorn TV and Sundance Now as add-on premiums.
Get all the details in our Sling TV review.
YouTube TV gets you over 85 channels for $64.99/mo. Its chief distinguishing characteristics from Hulu + Live TV is that its missing A&E channels instead of AMC ones (and hence why it carries BBC World News when H+LT does not). It also doesn’t come with ginormous on-demand libraries included like ESPN+ and Disney+.
We’ve also been skeptical over 2021 watching YouTube TV get into three major fights on carriage disputes — including one and ended with them losing all Disney channels (including all of ESPN) for a couple of days. We are cautiously optimistic but unconvinced.
Streaming TVs and Devices to Watch BBC World News
There isn’t a streaming device that isn’t supported by at least some service. And the most popular ones are supported by all the streaming services:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android mobile
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- iOS (iPhone,iPad)
- Web browsers.
All the services support devices based on Android TV other than (oddly) DIRECTV STREAM. Samsung smart TVs are similarly supported except not by Philo and Vidgo. FuboTV and Sling TV support Xbox gaming systems.
There are other supported devices. See our streaming reviews for all the details.
So if you consistently look across the pond to get your world news, but don’t want to consistently have to look to your cable company for access to your favorite British news channel, you absolutely don’t have to.
Just sign up for one of the services listed above and say “Cheerio!” to your cable company forever!
How can I listen to BBC World Service?
According to the BBC website, BBC World Service English is distributed in North America by its partner APM (American Public Media), which disseminates BBC World Service to over 500 US public radio stations. Check the public radio stations near you to find one that carries it. You can also listen to a live feed directly from BBC Radio or view the full schedule of programming on the BBC’s website.
How can I get BBC World News free?
The short answer is, you can’t get BBC World News free — at least not in the US. The agreement the BBC has with AMC requires that they not make their free live stream available. You can read the news articles on their website, and you can listen to the BBC World Service radio program free, but if you want the live TV channel, the cheapest you can do is Philo for $25/mo.
Why doesn’t Hulu Live offer BBC World News?
Hulu + Live TV doesn’t offer BBC World News because they don’t offer any channels from AMC Networks, which is the American distributor of BBC World News and BBC America. It’s the same reason why you won’t find IFC, Sundance, Shudder, WE tv, Allblk, Acorn TV, or AMC itself, no matter how often subscribers tell them they absolutely can’t live without The Walking Dead.
Is BBC World News the same as BBC News?
BBC World News is similar to BBC News but not the same thing. They use the same international news bureaus, but the BBC News program that airs in the UK is an ad-free version paid for by the British TV license fee. BBC World News is owned and operated by BBC Global News Limited, which is still the BBC but is funded by subscription fees and commercials.