STAR to launch Farsi-language channel

Entertainment offering aimed at audience of 100 million

BANGKOK -- Hong Kong-based broadcaster STAR will launch a Farsi-language, free-to-air general entertainment channel in early 2009, targeting the nearly 100 million speakers of the tongue mostly widely heard in Iran.

News Corp.-owned STAR will set up its Farsi channel sales and marketing office in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where it has based its Middle East operations since 1994 in Dubai Media City, the company said Tuesday.

Also known as Persian, Farsi is the official language of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

STAR, which already broadcasts in 10 languages in Asia, including Chinese and Hindi, offers a bouquet of 15 channels in the Middle East.
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