BBC World Service to launch Farsi TV for Iran
BBC World Service is to launch a television news and information service in the
Farsi (Persian) language for Iran, it was announced today. The service will complement the BBC's existing Persian radio and online
services for Iran.
The service is expected to launch early in 2008 and will be based in London.
will initially broadcast for eight hours a day, seven days a week, from 17.00
to 01.00 hours - 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 a speech this morning in London.
This follows BBC proposals for
the service drawn up by senior BBC management.
These were approved by the BBC
Governors and submitted to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for their
consent as the BBC is obliged to do under the agreement with the FCO.
The operating cost of £15m 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
"But television is increasingly dominating the way that millions of Iranian
people receive their news.
"Therefore the BBC proposed to the Foreign Office
that we launch a television service in Farsi to complement our existing
independent news and information services for Iran on radio and online.
all BBC services, the new television service will be editorially independent of
the UK Government.
"I am delighted the BBC Farsi television service proposal has
been given the go-ahead," he adds.
The BBC's Farsi television service will draw upon the BBC's un-matched
Broadcast at primetime in Iran, it will showcase
accurate, impartial, balanced news and analysis from a global perspective.
will also show investigative current affairs programmes, alongside quality BBC
factual, cultural and educational documentaries.
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 well-established and trusted Farsi radio and online services.
The new BBC Farsi television service will:
Be completely editorially independent in line with BBC's long-held
reputation for impartial, trustworthy news reporting and analysis
Meet the strong demand for a BBC Farsi television service expressed in
recent surveys where 73% of Iranians with satellite access say they
will definitely or are fairly likely to watch a BBC Farsi television service
Make the BBC the only tri-media international news provider offering
Farsi language news and current affairs on television, radio and online
Draw on 66 years of BBC experience covering the region in Farsi -
supported by the world's most extensive newsgathering operation: 250 news
correspondents reporting from 50 bureaux allowing a global rather than purely
Notes to Editors
The BBC's existing Persian radio service for Iran is available on shortwave,
medium wave or online.
Limited independent surveys indicate around two million
Iranians listen to the BBC each week.
It is well-respected, according to independent surveys. The BBC scores higher
with Iranians on trust and objectivity than other international broadcasters in
BBC Persian.com - the BBC's international news website and the biggest internet
site in the Persian language - is the market leader in the field.
attracts around 19 million page impression per month - the second highest level
of traffic among BBC language sites (after Arabic).
However, access to the site
has been partially blocked in Iran, on the orders of the Iranian authorities,
since January 2006.
BBC World Service is an international radio and online broadcaster delivering
programmes and services in 33 languages.
It uses multiple platforms to reach 163 million listeners globally, including
SW, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels.
It has around 2,000 partner
radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying
content to mobile phones.
Its international online sites, which include audio and visual content and
offer users opportunities to debate world events, receive more than 650 million page
impressions, attracting around 35 million unique users, a month.
BBC World Service is funded through Grant-in-Aid from the Foreign Office. The
grant for 2006/7 is £245m.
In October 2005, BBC World Service announced that it is to launch a publicly-funded BBC Arabic television service. This is set for launch in the autumn of
The new Farsi television service is a further indication of the way BBC
World Service is adapting to meeting changing audience needs.
BBC World Service Press Office