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Mon 18 Jan 2010 07:56 AM

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Doha Debates signs US, Egypt, Europe deals

TV show set to widen audience after new agreements with television channels.

Doha Debates signs US, Egypt, Europe deals

TV show The Doha Debates, already watched by millions around the world via the BBC, has secured new deals with television channels in the US, Egypt and Europe.

The new agreements will carry the programmes - now in their sixth series - to viewers of public television in New York (Wnet, channel 13) as well as MHz Worldview - an independent, non-commercial channel, serving more than half the top-20 US television markets.

The Real News Network Canada/USA - a TV and internet service - is also to transmit the sessions to a growing audience in North America and beyond.

CEO Paul Jay called the debates "an exciting addition" to their lineup.

"Seeing the world through the eyes of a studio audience in Qatar is a wonderful window into the mind of the Middle East," he added in a statement.

Egypt's popular OTV channel has already begun carrying the debates with Arabic subtitles while BHRT in Bosnia and Herzegovina now transmits the discussions on its terrestrial and satellite system.

Debates' chairman Tim Sebastian said: "The Middle East is known as one of the world's major flashpoints. But what audiences don't know is that some young Arabs are trying to carve out a new reality for themselves - speaking their mind, asking tough questions, wanting a say in how their societies are run. That's what we're seeing on the debates."

Since launching on BBC World News in 2005, The Doha Debates have become the channel's top-rated weekend programme.

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