Broadcasting Board Reaches Record Audience Abroad


U.S.-sponsored international programming on radio, television and Internet reached a record 206 million people per week in 2013, the Broadcasting Board of Governors reported on Monday.

The estimated increase of 31 million over the 2012 tally is reported in the agency’s annual Performance Accountability Report and is based on Gallup surveys of adult populations in more than 90 countries over the past five years. For first time, TV audiences for BBG’s news and cultural programming outpaced radio audiences.

BBG overseas combined TV, radio, Internet, and mobile audiences of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Martí, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa).

“Our journalists produce high quality programming, and we’re finding fresh ways to innovate in content delivery. This makes it possible for the networks supported by the BBG to reach these record-breaking audiences,” said BBG Chairman Jeff Shell in a statement. “Through these means, we help to nurture and sustain free, open, democratic societies by supporting free press and free expression, and by conveying the American democratic experience to countries where the media are not free. This research data is critical in helping us navigate challenging media environments, and connecting with audiences on the platforms that they prefer.”

Audience size is just one measure of impact, said Bruce Sherman, director of BBG’s Office of Strategy and Development, in a Monday conference call with reporters. “We also look at reach as a contribution to impact, but once we’ve gauged reach, we look at what people are doing with the formation, how the information we provide is used in their media environment, the extent it is picked up by other outlets and the extent which it drives the news agenda” in the 90 countries the programs reach. The BBG’s largest audiences are in Indonesia (21.6 million), Nigeria (20.7 million), Mexico (14.9 million), and Iran (14.5 million), all countries in which the BBG has made strides in innovative programming.

Jeffrey Trimble, acting director of the International Broadcasting Bureau, in a Monday conference call with reporters, stressed that the record performance is important to BBG’s commitment to “transparency and accountability to the administration, to Congress, to the public, to the media, and to anyone interested in how taxpayer dollars are spent.” The surveys, he added, are useful both to managers and budget decision makers.

(Image via kangshutters/

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.