BBC Persian Television

BBC Persian Television

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BBC Persian Television is the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's Persian language
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 news channel that was launched on 14 January 2009. The service can be accessed through satellite television
Satellite television
Satellite television is television programming delivered by the means of communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic mirror generally referred to as a satellite dish, and as far as household usage is concerned, a satellite receiver either in the form of an...

, and is aimed at the 100 million Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 speakers in Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 and Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....



The annual budget of £15 million is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office or the FCO is a British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom overseas, created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.The head of the FCO is the...

, but as with the BBC World Service
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...

 which is also funded by the FCO, the BBC remains editorially independent, though some Iranian media have accused the British Government of using the service as a propaganda tool. The Iranian government issued a statement denouncing the new service as 'suspicious and illegal', and 'working against the interests of the Islamic Republic'.


In June 2009, BBC Persian's Hot Bird
Hot Bird
Hot Bird is the name of a popular family of satellites operated by Eutelsat, located at 13°E over the Equator and with a transmitting footprint over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East....

 satellite broadcasts along with those of BBC Arabic Television
BBC Arabic Television
BBC Arabic Television is a news and information television channel broadcast to the Middle East by the BBC. It was launched at 0956 GMT on 11 March 2008. The service was announced in October 2005 and was to start broadcasting in Autumn 2007, but was delayed...

, other BBC services, and those of other broadcasters were experiencing interference due to a jamming signal originating from within Iran. In response, BBC Persian started transmission on other satellites and increased their broadcast hours in order to combat the interference

The channel has been criticised by Iranian state television of encouraging "illegal" rallies and manipulating the Iranian people against the Islamic Republic, a claim which the BBC denies.

The jamming resumed on 20 December 2009 soon after BBC Persian began extended coverage of the protests resulting from the death of leading reformist cleric Grand Ayatollah Hoseyn Ali Montazeri, and on 28 December 2009, BBC Persian ceased its transmission from the Hot Bird 6 satellite., however transmissions continued from the Telstar 12
Telstar 12
Telstar 12 is a commercial broadcast satellite used in telecommunications.Telstar 12, operated by Loral Skynet, is a Ku band satellite with coverage of North America as far West as Cleveland, Ohio, the majority of South America, Europe as far East as the United Arab Emirates and South Africa...

, Eutelsat W2M
W Series
The W series satellites are six satellites operated by Eutelsat which provide various coverage and bandwidth options for consumer and business services in Europe, Asia and Africa...

 and Atlantic Bird
Nilesat 103
Nilesat 103 Satellite, also known as Atlantic Bird 4, is an Egyptian owned communications satellite.Nilesat and Eutelsat has agreed in September 2005 to lease capacity on Eutelsat’s Hot Bird 4 satellite after relocating it to 7° West and renaming it Nilesat 103...

 4A satellites.

BBC Persian returned to a different frequency on Hot Bird 6 on 26 May 2010, after a period of test transmissions. After a new jamming in February 2011 on Hotbird, BBC Persian showed for some months only a test card along with the audio of their service.

Also, due to the ban on foreign reporters in Iran, the news service currently relies on a significant amount of user-generated content, often taken with mobile phones.


It appears that Iran's presidential elections in June 2009 and what followed greatly elevated BBC Persian TV's stature and importance. It became the channel that extensively covered the events inside Iran for the Iranians inside Iran. Outside of Iran, the channel was therefore recognised accordingly.

On 4 November 2009, BBC Persian TV was honoured for the "Clearest coverage of a single news event – television" by the Association for International Broadcasting
Association for International Broadcasting
The Association for International Broadcasting - AIB - is the industry association that represents and supports international television and radio broadcasters....

 at its annual global media excellence awards at a gala event in London, England. The award was for "the elections that shook Iran". It was a half hour narration of the unrest that developed in the streets of Iran immediately after the disputed June presidential elections.

On 20 November 2009, BBC Persian TV was honoured at the 12th annual Hot Bird TV Awards
Hot Bird TV Awards
The HOT BIRD TV Awards is a television prize, dedicated to thematic television broadcast across Europe, Africa and the Middle East via the satellites of Eutelsat. Prizes are assigned in 11 categories: Children’s, Cinema, Culture/ Education, Documentaries, Fiction/ General Entertainment, HDTV,...

 in Venice, Italy. It was named best news channel for its portrayal of unbiased news in a complex and fast-moving environment.


The channel broadcasts from London for eight hours every day. Programmes cover a variety of subjects including current affairs, documentaries, culture, science, business(jomeh bazaar)and the arts(kook).
Entertainment programmes such as BBC Sound
Sound (BBC TV series)
Sound was a weekly music, entertainment and chat show that broadcasted on BBC2 as part of the BBC Switch teen strand. It was presented by BBC Radio 1 DJs Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw....

and Top Gear are broadcast with Persian dubbing.

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