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Radio Farda, VOA Morning Programs Make The Leap To Television

WASHINGTON -- Iranians can begin their day with a new, two hour block of live television programming from RFE/RL's Radio Farda and VOA Persian Television, through a groundbreaking collaboration between the two international broadcasters.

Radio Farda's Breakfast with News and VOA’s Radio Tamasha are now being aired weekday mornings on VOA’s Persian Television channel, which broadcasts into Iran on the Hotbird satellite and on Livestation, a 24/7 Internet streaming platform. This represents the first time a Radio Farda production has appeared on television.

"Radio Farda, which celebrated its 10th anniversary on December 18, is now on TV in Iran, bringing original, uncensored programming to breakfast tables throughout the country," said RFE/RL president Steven Korn. "It's a breakthrough for us and VOA, and it breaks through the information blockade for the people of Iran."

VOA Director David Ensor called the effort “a smart way to use our existing satellite infrastructure to make the two radio programs available to new audiences in Iran. It's a great example of how VOA and RFE/RL can work together. VOA has a solid television lineup and the addition of these two shows in the morning will make it even stronger.”

Radio Tamasha airs from 6:00-7:00 a.m. in Tehran. The program is hosted by Parviz Bahador, a voice familiar to generations of Iranians, and Ramesh Rasekh, whose warm, friendly voice has been a favorite of Iranians for 30 years.

Breakfast with News, which can be seen in Iran from 7:00-8:00 a.m., adapts the radio program for television by enhancing it with studio effects, multimedia elements and graphics. "It's radio on TV," explains Korn, "an innovative, cost-effective way to expand and diversify Iranians' access to quality information."

Radio fans and morning commuters can still listen to both programs via their current platforms -- AM mediumwave, shortwave, and Internet for Breakfast with News, and shortwave and Internet for Radio Tamasha.

About RFE/RL's Radio Farda
Despite jamming and severe restrictions on access, nearly 5 percent of Iranians 15 and older listen to RFE/RL's Radio Farda or visit the network’s website every week. Radio Farda also maintains an active presence on social media.

About VOA Persian Television
VOA Persian Television has a weekly audience of more than 21 percent in Iran, making it one of the most popular international broadcasters in the country. Earlier this year the Persian Service rolled out a new lineup of television programs. In addition to direct-to-home satellite, viewers of many popular VOA programs also turn to Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites to watch the programs on demand.