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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
BBC launches 24-hour news in US
BBC News presenter George Alagiah
George Alagiah will present a new bulletin aimed at US audiences
The BBC's global news channel, BBC World, has launched in the US, aiming to capture audiences hungry for international news.

The channel, which already broadcasts to 270 million homes worldwide, can now be seen by cable viewers in New York.

The BBC says it hopes to strike deals with cable and satellite providers elsewhere in the US soon.

A new breakfast programme aimed at American audiences will be launched in July, presented by George Alagiah.

"What we're not setting out to do is carve a niche that reflects America back to the Americans," said Alagiah.

"What we're trying to do is reflect the world back to Americans."

The show, which will be based in London, will also be carried on the cable channel BBC America.

Global broadcaster

BBC World was launched in 1995, and is funded by advertising and subscription.

As well as news bulletins, it broadcasts the interview programme Hardtalk, motoring show Top Gear and film guide Talking Movies, among others.

We're offering something nobody else is
Richard Porter, Editor of BBC World
Although it can be seen in more than 200 countries, the channel has found it difficult to get a foothold in the US.

"The American TV market is the most crowded market in the world," says the station's editor, Richard Porter.

"For cable operators to want to find a space for another news network has been quite difficult."

Porter says the channel's coverage of global affairs has been their key selling point.

"We're offering something nobody else is."

The launch of BBC World in New York comes just four months after the station signed a distribution deal with Discovery.

The channel's main competitor in the US will be CNN International, whose managing director, Chris Cramer, shrugged off the impact of the BBC World's launch.

"At the end of the day, I guess the audience will decide," he said.

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