Green light for 24hr BBC Arabic service

The BBC World Service will press ahead with expanding its Arabic TV news service to a 24-hour operation and broadcasting a news channel in Farsi after the chancellor, Alistair Darling, confirmed funding plans. The new deal will see the total World Service budget rise from £246 million (E354m) this financial year to £271 million in 2010-2011.

New government funding will allow the BBC to launch its first new news channels for a decade. It provides funding for the BBC to extend its planned 12-hour Arabic news channel, to be launched later this year, to 24 hours a day from next year.

Meanwhile BBC World Service, which is funded by the UK government, won an additional £70 million in funding.

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