BBC World Service announces today (8 January 2009) that its Persian language television channel will launch on Wednesday 14 January.
BBC Persian TV will form part of the BBC's multimedia news and information service for Persian-speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and around the globe.
BBC Persian is designed to reach audiences on radio, television, the internet, mobile phones and handheld computers in whatever way best suits the audience.
BBC Persian TV will showcase high-quality accurate and impartial news, information and analysis from a global perspective.
The channel will cover the political, social and cultural issues that are of interest to its diverse audiences. It will bring a context to global issues and reflect the impact of these issues on the daily lives of its audiences.
Nigel Chapman, Director of BBC World Service, hailed the arrival of the new channel. He said: "The launch of BBC Persian TV is an event of major importance for the BBC and for audiences in the region.
"Using the power of television, it will bring 'the world to its viewers', and thus meet the needs of audiences who tell us that they want more access to the BBC's high-quality news and information services.
"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."
"It is the second of our specialist language TV channels following the launch of BBC Arabic last year," Nigel Chapman added.
As well as news and analysis, BBC Persian TV will broadcast a wide range of original factual programmes including a weekly youth programme, as well as strands on music, arts and culture, science and technology and sport. A documentary showcase will highlight the very best of Iranian, Afghan and Tajik documentary making.
Behrouz Afagh, Head of BBC World Service's Asia and Pacific Region, says: "The BBC Persian multimedia service has the audience's needs and concerns at the heart of its agenda. It is contemporary in its style, and independent and penetrating in its journalism.
"BBC Persian's multimedia interactive programming provides an opportunity for Persian-speakers worldwide to debate common issues, bring to the foreground diverging viewpoints, and promote greater understanding through dialogue."
Broadcast from the BBC studios in London, BBC Persian TV will be available eight hours a day, seven days a week, from 17.00 to 01.00 Tehran Time and 18.00 to 02.00 Kabul Time (13.30-21.30 GMT).
BBC Persian TV will be freely available to anyone with a satellite dish or cable connection in the region, via Hotbird and Telstar satellites. It will also be streamed live online on bbcpersian.com.
In addition, BBC radio broadcasts in Persian seven days a week for an average of 10 hours a day. bbcpersian.com is available 24 hours a day in Persian and Tajik.
Independent research shows that the BBC's existing Persian-speaking audiences regard it as one of the most trusted, impartial and objective international radio news providers in the Persian-speaking world, with an established reputation for quality.
Behrouz Afagh says: "The BBC has broadcast news to the region - Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf - in Persian for 68 years, and the BBC enjoys considerable reach and is widely listened to, and respected."
BBC Persian draws upon the BBC's unmatched newsgathering resources across the globe, with eye-witness reportage and expert analysis from over 250 correspondents in more than 70 offices and bureaux around the world.
BBC Persian also has journalists stationed around the world including the key locations of Beirut, Dushanbe, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Kabul and Washington.
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