German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder officially launched Deutsche Welle's new Arabic TV program during a visit to Kuwait Monday. This completes DW's offerings: Radio and DW-WORLD already broadcast in Arabic.
Deutsche Welle's Director-General Erik Bettermann joined Schröder in Kuwait to kick off DW-TV's new language service, which is one of its kind in Europe.
"This strengthens the position of Deutsche Welle in Arabic-Islamic regions," Bettermann said. "DW-TV is the first European television broadcaster to present news with Arabic-speaking anchorpersons.”
The three-hour-long program is based on two daily news shows of 26 minutes each, with the latest from politics, business, the arts and sport. Dima Tarhini (photo), a former anchor with Al-Jazeera TV, will host the program.
"DW-TV’s programming offers information from Germany and Europe in Arabic to satisfy the growing demand in the region," said Christoph Lanz, DW-TV's program director. "The shows are transmitted via the Nilesat satellite and reach about 10 million viewers in more than 20 countries from Morocco to Saudi Arabia."
Foreign ministry supports program
The service is supplemented by magazines with Arabic subtitles and ministry supports the program with special funds.
The Arabic-anchored news on DW-TV is one element of Deutsche Welle’s long-term strategy for the Arabic world. In addition to the Arabic language services on DW-RADIO and DW-WORLD.DE, DW-TV has been broadcasting news with Arabic subtitles since 2002.
A year later, in November 2003, Deutsche Welle signed a cooperation agreement with Abu Dhabi TV. Since then, the two broadcasters have shared programs, co-produced shows and used local technical facilities.
"The Arabic-language news further expands the presence of Deutsche Welle in an important market and intensifies our dialogue with the Arabic world," Bettermann said.
DW-TV is the worldwide, 24-hour a day source of news and information from Germany and Europe. The programming is distributed from Berlin to five continents via a global satellite network as well as a few thousand cable network operators and TV channels in addition to over 5,800 hotels all over the world.
DW-TV reaches over 210 million households -- 89 million of them around the clock -- in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America in four languages.