The process of commercialisation at BBC has begun in full swing. For the first time, the news and current affairs on BBC World on PAS4 beam, which is meant for South Asia (including India) and the Middle East, has been thrown open to sponsorship. Strategically enough, it's the `Weather Report' in the news section, which is being sponsored first.
Advertising on BBC was like blasphemy till a few years ago. Then succumbing to the times and falling revenues, the institution began relaxing it’s advertising rules, but only to a limit. It started accepting advertisements for only those programmes which were not related to news, current affairs and business.
In May 2000, however, BBC World took a revolutionary step by opening up the `Weather Report' of its PAS 2 beam, meant for the Asia-Pacific region, for sponsorship. Now the step has been taken to a logical conclusion by getting a sponsor for the `Weather Report', which is part of the news section, on the PAS 4 beam as well.
While the weather section on PAS 2 beam (Asia-Pacific) was being sponsored by United Airlines, the one on PAS 4 (South Asia and Middle-East) has just got sponsorship from Amtrex Hitachi Appliances Ltd. With that, for the first time, BBC World has started accepting advertisements for its news section for the Asia beam.