Record BBC Persia’s viewing despite jamming

The BBC’s Persian TV channel continues to be hard hit by signal jamming and censorship, as well as physical intimidation from Iranian thugs. But the endless switching of transponder transmission locations has not hurt its viewing numbers, which have rocketed in this past year.

New data shows that its viewing numbers have grown 94 per cent, from 3.1 million in 2009 to an impressive 6 million today. Add in radio broadcasts and the BBC’s reach in Iran has extended some 85 per cent, from 3.9 million (in 2009) to 7.2 million now.

BBC sources say these already impressive numbers would be better again were it not for the challenges of signal jamming emanating from Iran. Only last week BBC Persian TV had to again switch frequencies on Eutelsat’s powerful ‘Hot Bird’ satellite.

The BBC’s Director of Global News Peter Horrocks says: “These figures are a tremendous tribute to the courage and dedication of BBC Persian journalists in the face of appalling bullying and intimidation by the Iranian authorities. “Working for the BBC World Service can be a very hard calling. But our journalists do so in the knowledge that their reporting is trusted, respected and valued by audiences in Iran and by millions around the world.”

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