Sairbeen, a current affairs programme by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Urdu airing on Aaj TV, will no longer be shown on the news channel as BBC has ended the agreement citing ‘interference with the bulletins’.
The programme started broadcasting on Aaj TV under a partnership agreement with BBC World Service in 2014.
"According to the agreement, which is based on similar policies as the BBC's arrangements with several countries, the BBC structures the programme according to its independent editorial policy and in accordance with the local language and local audience, and the local TV channel [then] broadcasts that programme," said a report on the agreement published by BBC Urdu.
With Saibeen not on TV any longer, television viewers will no longer be able to watch BBC Urdu bulletins. However, they will still be available for streaming on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.
Dawn reported that BBC World Service Director Jamie Angus had given ample time to Aaj TV to resolve the issue of interference with their news bulletins but the news channel hadn’t heeded BBC’s request. He further added that from BBC’s end the news channels administration had been notified of the interference since October 2020
"[We] gave Aaj TV ample time for their efforts to facilitate returning the programme to air. Since this interference continued, despite efforts in good faith on both sides, the BBC had no alternative but to end the partnership with immediate effect. We regret any disruption to our loyal audiences in Pakistan. Any interference in our programmes represents a serious breach of trust with our audiences, which the BBC cannot allow," said the director.