BBC World Service to launch Iranian TV channel

LONDON - The BBC World Service is to launch an Iranian TV and information service in the Farsi langauge to complement its existing Persian radio and online activity.

The London-based service, which is slated for early 2008, will broadcast for eight hours a day, seven days a week, and will be freely available to viewers with a satellite dish or cable connection.

The £15m operating cost for the corporation's Farsi broadcasts was confirmed by Chancellor Gordon Brown yesterday.

Funding will be in addition to BBC World Service's existing grant-in-aid fees, and will not impact on other World Service products.

Nigel Chapman, BBC World Service director, said: "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.

"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."

The BBC said its Iranian-language service would provide national and international news, current affairs programmes and educational documentaries.

In June, BBC Worldwide said it planned to launch an advertiser-supported international website, BBC.com, by the end of the first quarter of 2007.

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