Launch set for BBC Persian TV

BBC Persian TV, the new international channel for Persian-speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, will launch next Wednesday (January 14).

The channel will be broadcast from the BBC studios in London between 12.30 and 21.30 daily. Distribution has been secured on the Eutelsat Hot Bird (13 degrees East) and Telstar 12 (15 degrees West). It will also be streamed online at as part of a multiplatform proposition.

Since its launch in January 2006, the website has been largely blocked by the Iranian authorities. The vast majority of the 20 million monthly page views come from Eurasia, North America and Europe.

Nigel Chapman, Director of BBC World Service, said the launch of BBC Persian TV was of major importance to the BBC and the region. “We want this BBC channel to set new standards in Persian-language television broadcasting. BBC Persian TV builds on our distinguished history of broadcasting in Persian and brings the best of the BBC’s news and documentary programmes to audiences.”

The schedule includes fully localised versions of popular BBC World News programmes including Reporters, interview show Hardtalk and technology magazine Click.

It is the second specialist channel to be launched by the BBC following the appearance of BBC Arabic last year. Both channels are funded by the Foreign Office and have led to budget reductions elsewhere in the BBC World Service.