VT Group, through its VT Communications subsidiary, has reached agreement to continue distributing and transmitting BBC World Service radio programming for a further five years. This is valued at approximately Ã‚£150 million. The initial contract was originally let to Merlin Communications upon privatisation in 1997. VT Group acquired Merlin in 2001, creating the VT Communications Division.
BBC World Service radio programmes are transmitted through 10 transmission sites in the UK and throughout the world, which are operated and maintained by VT Communications. The service is transmitted in 43 languages to around 150 million weekly listeners throughout the world with the English and Arabic services broadcast 24 hours a day.
VT Group Chief Executive Paul Lester commented: “The continuance of the contract will underpin our communications business for several years to come and reflects the high standards of service provided since privatisation. In addition, we are excited to be supporting the World Service as it faces a period of unprecedented technological change, through its increasing move into the digital era.”
Nigel Chapman, Director at BBC World Service, said: “Our relationship has continued to develop very positively since the acquisition of Merlin by VT. We face an exciting but challenging future and we are delighted to be working with VT Communications as our partner.”