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BBC Persian News tops Hot Bird nods

Channels from Europe and Africa honored at event

LONDON -- BBC Persian News, the Body in Balance Channel and Russian documentaries channel Vremya were among the networks honored at the 12th annual Hot Bird TV awards in Venice Friday night.

The awards, which celebrate content and innovation from themed satellite channels across Europe and Africa, were held at a gala ceremony in Venice's spectacular 12th Century Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista.

The BBC's Farsi-language Persian service was named best news channel for its portrayal of unbiased news in a complex and fast-moving environment, while South Africa's M-Net Action was named best fiction channel for its combination of acquired and local drama.

German-language yoga and fitness channel Body in Balance, was named best lifestyle channel for pushing the boundaries of multimedia content.

Russian-language channel Vremya took the award for best documentary channel, while the upbeat themes of French channel Trace Tropical earned the network the best music channel gong.

Other winners included Italy's Sky Sports 24, which was named best sports channel. Russia's TV-Nanny was named best children's channel, while Poland's Wojna o Pokoi was named best cinema channel.

Almost 150 channels from 20 countries across Europe and the Mediterranean basin entered this year's awards, which were the first awards to include broadcasters across Africa in the competition.