Haiti, Chilean miners and the election help BBC News Channel audience increase 24% in 2010

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The controller of the BBC News Channel Kevin Bakhurst has claimed the succession of major news events since January has led to a 24 per cent year-on-year increase in his channel’s audience so far this year.

Bakhurst claimed that so far this year an average of 9.6m viewers have tuned in to the channel each week.

This compares with the 7.7m the channel averaged in 2009, he said, as more and more viewers were opting to watch the channel online.

The Haiti earthquake, the Pakistan floods, Cumbrian shootings, general election and the rescue of Chilean miners all contributed to a bumper year for the channel, Bakhurst said on the BBC Editors’ blog.

The BBC News Channel’s record reach was on 11 May – the day Gordon Brown resigned and David Cameron became Prime Minister – when 7.4m people turned to the channel to watch its rolling news service.

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