A combined total of around 22 million people regularly watch the American evening newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC. But that number amounts to fewer than 10 percent of the 256 million who watch the BBC News worldwide, according to an estimate released by the corporation today (Tuesday). The estimate of the annual total was boosted by 7 percent over the previous year by the BBC's coverage of the Arab Spring, with 41.5 people watching the Persian and Arabic-language service, up from 28.7 million a year ago. In a statement, Peter Horrocks, the BBC's director of global news, said, The BBC World Service is emerging from a difficult period of funding cuts and the closure of services. Today's record audience figures come despite this, thanks to the quality of our journalism.