BBC adds more satellites for its Persian TV service

Andy Sennitt

The BBC has increased the number of satellites that carry its BBC Persian television service for Farsi-speakers in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. This follows persistent interference to signals from the Hotbird 6 satellite which carries the BBC’s international television and radio services in various languages as well as services from other broadcasters.

From now on, BBC Persian television will be additionally available on the Eutelsat W2M satellite and continues uninterrupted on the Telstar 12 satellite. BBC Persian is also expected to be available on Nilesat soon. They will serve Farsi-speaking audiences across the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

Since Friday 12 June the BBC Persian service, other BBC services, and the services of other broadcasters on Hotbird 6 have been subject to deliberate interference. BBC Arabic television and various language services have also been experiencing transmission problems including being off the air at various points. The satellite operator has traced the interference and has confirmed it is coming from within Iran.

BBC Persian television has extended its broadcast hours. There are an extra five hours of programming at Iranian breakfast and lunchtime, in addition to its usual evening broadcasts. Radio broadcasts have also been extended.

BBC World Service Director Peter Horrocks said: “This is an important time for Iran and many Iranians are turning to the BBC for impartial and independent news and information during this crisis. We hope that by adding more ways to access BBC Persian television, Farsi-speaking audiences can get the high-quality news, analysis and debate they clearly desire. We also hope this will lessen the impact on other broadcasters who have been affected by the interference.”

BBC Persian will be available on:

* Eutelsat W2M at 3.1° East (11. 473 GHz – vertical polarised). This is only 10º west of Hotbird 6 and can be found by making a small adjustment to the position of the satellite receiver dish.
* Nilesat at 7° West, 10.757 GHz (vertically polarised)
* Telstar T12, 15° West , 12.608 GHz (horizontally polarised)