Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927. The BBC World Service began in 1932, and by the 1990s was broadcasting programs in 38 languages to 120 million people worldwide. BBC television service, which kept its monopoly on television service until a commercial channel began broadcasting in 1954, introduced regular color broadcasts in Europe in 1967. The BBC radio monopoly ended in 1972. The BBC today offers five radio networks and two national television channels.