Television Asia Plus recently spoke to Chris Davies, BBC Global News’ Executive Vice President for Marketing and Distribution as he outlined what Asia should look forward to from BBC this year, as well as growth and upcoming partnerships.

Television Asia Plus (TVA): What new activities from BBC Global News should Asia look forward to in 2021?

Chris Davies (CD): There are a number of major events happening in the region this year. Our team of expert presenters and correspondents will report on the top stories from the World Economic Forum in Singapore this August, bringing a wealth of insight and analysis across the week, as the world’s business leaders come together to discuss the global economic challenges. Our unrivalled access will ensure interviews with the top names at the conference, which will be scheduled throughout our rolling news coverage and in special programming from Singapore. We are also developing our plans for coverage of the Olympics in Tokyo with live coverage from Lucy Hockings and Mariko Oi. Plus we have a really exciting relaunch planned in 2021 of one of our flagship Asia-based programmes – Newsday.

TVA: In terms of viewership, how has BBC Global News grown in the Asia Pacific over the past year?

CD:  According to the latest IPSOS Affluent Asia study, BBC World News is the fastest-growing news channel in APAC. The channel is now available in 86.5 million households across the region, which is fantastic news. Whilst it is great news for our distribution partners and advertisers, it also says a lot about what audiences are looking for at this time. After a year of hard-hitting global events and the incessant rise of dangerous misinformation, audiences are turning to objective and impartial news that they can really trust. These numbers speak for themselves and are a testament to the importance of the accurate and trustworthy news reporting that we provide across the region.

TVA: Apart from BBC Global News’ announcement on the partnership with Thailand’s 3BB, what other activities are BBC doing to increase its presence in the Southeast Asian region?

CD: The BBC has a major newsgathering hub and studio in Singapore, from which we broadcast a number of our flagship programmes. The journalists there report on the most important stories from across the region and also work on securing big name interviews such as our Asia Business Correspondent Karishma Vaswani’s recent one with PM Lee. Our teams in South East Asia regularly engage with our distribution partners to showcase our journalistic excellence. We recently hosted a webinar for our partners with Karishma and Curtis Chin, Asia Fellow at the Milken institute – keeping them up to date on how the latest news stories are impacting businesses across the region.