Iraqi deal for BBC

BBC Worldwide has concluded its first deal in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

In
an initial one-year agreement, BBC Worldwide will provide news, current
affairs and history programming to Al Hurra, the US government funded
broadcaster in the Middle East.

The deal licenses 45 hours of programming to Al Hurra, which goes out across the region, and to Al Hurra Iraq.

Programmes include Ghengis Khan, Auschwitz, An Islamic History of Europe and editions of Panorama, This World and Correspondent.

BBC
Worldwide’s director of emerging markets, Monisha Shah, said: “As Iraq
rebuilds its media networks, we are glad to be able to provide a
quality source of international news and current affairs, and history
programming, to help re-establish schedules and give viewers increased
choice.”

BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm of the BBC. The
deal with Al Hurra was generated through the TV sales division which
licenses BBC programmes to foreign broadcasters in return for fees. BBC
Worldwide’s profits this year are up 50 per cent to £55m.

Al Hurra and its sister radio station, Radio Sawa, were set up with the stated aim of promoting freedom and democracy.

They
are funded by the United States government through the Broadcasting
Board of Governors, which consists of four Democrats, four Republicans
and the Secretary of State as an ex-officio member.

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