Europe gears up for first multilingual news channel

On Friday, Europe’s first multilingual satellite TV news channel, Euronews, will begin broadcasting from Lyons in France.

Building on CNN’s multilingual concept, Euronews will simultaneously transmit in five languages across Europe and is expected to reach an audience of up to 35 million households at its launch via satellite, cable and terrestrial distribution.

Euronews will broadcast news and magazine footage from all European Broadcasting Union members, including RAI in Italy, FR2 and FR3 in France, the BBC in Britain, RTVE in Spain and ARD and ZDF in Germany.

It will be a picture channel adding its own graphics and commentary in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian, with Arabic to be included later.

Joint venture

Euronews will initially broadcast 20 hours daily and is a joint venture among 11 EBU members: RTBF in Belgium, CyBC in Cyprus, ERTU in Egypt, YLE in Finland, FR2 and FR3 in France, ERT in Greece, RAI in Italy, TMC in Monaco, RTP in Portugal and RTVE in Spain.

High income target

Its target audience is decision makers and viewers in the higher income brackets, and will reportedly offer an alternative European perspective of world and local events.

Euronews president and director-general, Massimo Fichera, said in a prepared statement: “Europeans will finally be able to enjoy coverage of world and local affairs from a truly European point of view in their own language.

“Programs will be produced by Europeans for Europeans and will be completely free from individual countries’ political interests and influences.”

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