BBC programming disrupted in Middle East

Dave Caulkin/AP file photo

Move comes after satellite provider Eutelsat pulled the plug on Iran broadcaster.

BBC announced Thursday that its television and radio shows had been disrupted in the Middle East and Europe. Britain's public broadcaster did not say who messed with the programming, but Paris-based satellite provider Eutelsat admitted Oct. 4 that Iran had been jamming satellite signals and censoring programs that broadcast with Eutelsat satellites, such as Voice of America.

The agency Broadcasting Board of Governors, which supervises broadcasting activities by VOA, on Oct. 11 condemned the use of satellite jamming for censorship.

“Deliberate interference such as the jamming of transmissions is a blatant violation of international regulations concerning the use of satellites,” the BBC said in a separate statement. “We strongly condemn any practice designed to disrupt audiences’ free access to news and information.”

The disruptions come shortly after Eutelsat announced Monday that it would end its contract with Iran's broadcast body Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting to comply with European sanctions. Eutelsat would pull the plug on media channels affiliated with the organization, it said.