U.S. looks to launch Arabic TV, radio stations


The U.S. government, through the Broadcasting Board of Governors, is
developing plans to launch a radio station in Iran, as well as an Arabic-language
television network that would provide an alternative voice to Al Jazeera, the
Arabic world's only 24-hour news network.

This week, members of the BBG were in Hollywood talking with producers and
executives from studios and agencies about backing the idea.

Already, the U.S. sponsors an Arab-language pop-music and news station in the
Middle East, known as Radio Sawa. According to the BBG, one-third of listeners
in the Middle East between ages 17 and 28 prefer Radio Sawa's news. Last
March, Radio Sawa replaced the Voice of America's public-affairs service,
playing popular American music, as well as news.

The BBG is in charge of all U.S.-backed international broadcasting programs,
including VOA, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia and Radio Marti
and TV Marti in Cuba.