Monday, February 16, 2009

SLBC continues BBCWS English programs

The BBC World Service announced on Tuesday that it has stopped providing programmes to the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) because of “deliberate interference” by government censors. However. SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe says that so far he has not received any official information to that effect from the BBC World Service. SLBC therefore continues to broadcast BBC English programmes for 3.5 hours as day. However, the Tamil and Sinhala programmes have been dropped by SLBC.
Mr Samarasinghe told the Asian Tribune website that the BBC entered into an agreement with the SLBC to have 4.5 hours of airtime daily for broadcasting their services, for which the BBC pays US$185,000 annually to the SLBC - 3.5 hours a day in English and half an hour each in Sinhala and Tamil. He pointed out that for every thirty minutes of broadcasting time the BBC pays one quarter of what the SLBC charges to local sponsors for a thirty minute programme.
Mr Samarasinghe added that “The BBC has entered into an agreement with SLBC for airtime and if they want to renege on the agreement let them do it.”
(Source: Asian Tribune/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)