First Published: 2003-02-24

Iran launches Arabic-language satellite news channel

Al-Alam launched for two-month trial period to see its credibility compared to other Arab satellite news channels.


Middle East Online

Al-Alam began six-hour daily broadcasts on Sunday

TEHRAN - Iran has launched an Arabic-language satellite news channel for a two-month trial period to see how it fares in the battle for Arab opinion against Al-Jazeera and other giants.

Al-Alam (The World in Arabic), owned by Iran's government-run IRIB radio and television network, began six-hour daily broadcasts on Sunday.

Director Mohsen Roghani said the initial trial would be for a maximum of two months. The channel will be dedicated to news broadcasts, interspersed with documentaries.

Roghani said Al-Alam, which currently emits through four satellites, will be available to viewers around the world following an imminent contract-deal for use of a fifth satellite.

While the competition is tough, the Arabic-language channel was launched to meet viewer demands for more news, he said, explaining that news in English and Farsi is already provided on the Jam-e-Jam network.

He said the demand came from viewers of Iran's Sahar channels which are more generalist and broadcast in several languages including Arabic.


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