Israel's Satellite Television Provider to Drop BBC World

Venerable British news outlet widely considered antagonistic by Israelis, but YES satellite television company cites only low ratings, not politics, in decision.

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Outside BBC headquarters in London, protesters demand Egypt release Al Jazeera journalists, June 24, 2014.Credit: AP
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Haaretz

The Israeli satellite television provider YES, which serves over 500,000 households nationwide, is dropping the venerable BBC World news station from its roster of channels on offer, Globes reports. It will be replaced by France 24's English-language international news channel.

The BBC is widely considered to be "anti-Israel" by the public here, and YES has gotten plenty of complaints from customers on that score. However, in its statement explaning why it is canceling the prestigious British station, YES did not mention politics, only ratings.

"Customer satisfaction with the channel is low, which is demonstrated in part by the data on the number of people watching it, which is very low," stated YES. "We believe the reason for this is our broad range of channels, especially the wide variety of international news stations, including six in English, such as Sky, FOX News, CNN News and other channels that can be viewed by all of our customers.

"The British perspective, which [BBC World] presents, will continue to be represented by Sky News," YES said.

BBC World has been on YES's viewing menu since the latter began broadcasting in 2000. BBC World will continue to be offered by YES's competitor, the HOT cable TV network, which also serves about a half-million Israeli households.

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