Alhurra: New Arabic-language Satellite Television Station, Launched February 14, 2004

Alhurra, a new Arabic-language satellite television network, began broadcasting to millions of viewers in 22 countries across the Middle East on February 14, 2004.

Alhurra (Arabic for “The Free One”) is devoted primarily to news and information. In addition to reporting on regional and international events, the channel broadcasts discussion programs, current affairs magazines and features on a variety of subjects including health and personal fitness, entertainment, sports, fashion, and science and technology. The channel is dedicated to presenting accurate, balanced and comprehensive news.

Alhurra is operated by The Middle East Television Network, Inc., a non-profit corporation funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The BBG is a federal agency that supervises all U.S. nonmilitary international broadcasting. The channel broadcasts from studios in Springfield, Virginia and bureaus throughout the Middle East.

“Our competitive edge in the Middle East is our very dedication to truth and free and open debate. And we will stand out like a beacon of light in a media market dominated by sensationalism and distortion,” said BBG Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson.

Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of the BBG’s Middle East Committee who spearheaded development of Alhurra, said, “Alhurra will present fresh perspectives for viewers in the Middle East that we believe will create more cultural understanding and respect.”

“A key part of our mission is to be an example of a free press in the American tradition,” he added. “We’ve assembled a highly professional group of journalists primarily from the region to provide the kind of news and information that will resonate with our viewing audience and enable them to make informed decisions.”

Alhurra debuted with a 14-hour per day program schedule and will expand to 24 hours within weeks. Prime time programming includes two, one-hour in-depth newscasts, a nightly live talk show called “Free Hour,” and Arabic translations of documentary and information programming from producers around the world. The prime time broadcast schedule is posted daily on the channel’s web site:

Alhurra is available to viewers in the Middle East on the region’s two major satellite systems: Arabsat and Nilesat.

Arabsat Digital

Orbital Location: 26 Degrees East Longitude

Downlink Frequency: 11.661 Ghz

Polarization: Vertical

FEC: 3/4

Symbol Rate: 27.5 MSymb/s

Arabsat C-band Analog

Orbital Location: 26 Degrees East Longitude

Downlink Frequency: 3.964 GHz

Polarization: Vertical

Main Audio: 6.6 mHz

Nilesat Digital

Orbital Location: 7 Degrees West Longitude

Downlink Frequency: 11.823 GHz

Polarization: Vertical

Fec: 3/4

Symbol Rate: 27.5 MSymb/s

The BBG is an independent federal agency which supervises all U.S. government-supported non-military international broadcasting, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); Radio Free Asia (RFA); Radio and TV Mart