BBC World Service is to launch a television news and information service in the Farsi (Persian) language for Iran. The service, is expected to launch early in 2008, will complement the BBC’s existing Persian radio and online services for Iran.
It will initially broadcast for eight hours a day, seven days a week, from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am – peak viewing time in Iran. It will be freely available to anyone with a satellite dish or cable connection in the region.
Funding for the new service was announced by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, in London on October 10, 2006. This follows BBC proposals for the service drawn up by senior BBC management.
The operating cost of £15 million a year will be funded by the UK Government. This funding will be in addition to BBC World Service’s existing grant-in-aid funding from the UK Government and will have no impact on the current BBC World Service portfolio of services.
BBC World Service Director, Nigel Chapman, said, “The BBC’s Persian radio and online services are well-respected by Iranians, especially by opinion formers. In Iran we are regarded as the most trusted and objective of all international broadcasters for the way we provide impartial news and information about the wider world and the crucial part Iran is playing on the regional and global stage.”
The channel will cover international and major regional issues. It will also carry multi-media discussion programmes and debates in conjunction with the BBC’s Farsi radio and online services.