BBC services jammed in Middle East, Europe

October 18, 2012


A pedestrian is reflected in a door as they walk past the BBC Broadcasting House in London October 18, 2012. The BBC said on Thursday that broadcasts had been disrupted in the Middle East and Europe, just weeks after its satellite transmission provider accused Iran of trying to jam US and European programmes. -Reuters Photo

LONDON: The BBC said Thursday its services in the Middle East and Europe were being deliberately jammed, along with those of other broadcasters, with the interference coming from Syria.

The jamming of Eutelsat satellites affected BBC television and radio services in English and Arabic, the British Broadcasting Corporation said.

The French-based satellite provider Eutelsat said the interference was coming from Syria.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC, together with a number of other broadcasters, is experiencing deliberate, intermittent interference to its transmissions to audiences in Europe and the Middle East.

“Impacted services include the BBC World News and BBC Arabic television channels and BBC World Service radio services in English and Arabic.

“Deliberate interference such as the jamming of transmissions is a blatant violation of international regulations concerning the use of satellites and we strongly condemn any practice designed to disrupt audiences' free access to news and information.”

A spokeswoman for Eutelsat told AFP: “The deliberate and intermittent interference that began earlier this week is coming from Syria”.

Eutelsat is one of the world's largest satellite operators, broadcasting more than 4,250 television channels to more than 200 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

A series of attempts to jam BBC services in recent years have been traced to Iran.

Eutelsat turned off Iranian state television channels on Monday, a move based on reinforced European Union sanctions.