News Corp’s Persian-language television network is running into trouble in Iran and Afghanistan.
The media conglomorate’s Farsi1 channel, launched in 2010 and based in Dubai, broadcasts Western programs dubbed into Persian via satellite. Farsi1’s fare mainly includes US comedies and action shows, along with a heavy substrata of Latin America telenovelas. The station’s biggest hit? A version of 24 dubbed entirely into Persian.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Iranian and Afghani politicians and influencers are attacking the network for corrupting their youth.
According to the head of Iranian state-run television, Ezatollah Zarghami (who, of course, has a personal stake in this argument), “opinion polls show many viewers of Farsi1 admit that its programmes are corrupting […] why people watch this channel is another question.”
Meanwhile, Abdol Samad of pro-government Afghan daily Weesa claims that Farsi1 is part of a tool to undermine Afghanistan’s sovereignty through local subsidiary Tolo TV.: