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Wednesday, 2 January, 2002, 13:48 GMT
Afghan TV appeals for funds
Mariam Shakebar (left), one of the station's presenters
The first broadcast included music and news
Afghanistan's national TV station has put out a plea to foreign governments and broadcasters for funds to help it expand.

Kabul TV was reinstated in November following the collapse of the Taleban but is suffering a lack of funding and technical equipment.

Offers of assistance have so far come from Turkey, Italy, India, Germany, Iran and China, according to Variety.

Unesco is to offer $35,000 (24,100) to train technical staff to run the station

The Kabul correspondent of Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) is to meet with officials to see what help can be given.

TV studio
Most TV facilities were destroyed by fighting
There had been a link between the two networks before the Taleban regime took power.

Kabul TV has particularly asked for technical equipment such as videocassettes and cameras.

Variety quoted its head Abdul Afiz as saying Italian media tycoon and prime minister Silvio Berlusconi had offered substantial help.

Female presenter

Kabul TV broadcast live for the first time in five years on 12 November, with a female presenter being one of the first to go on air.

The strict Taleban regime banned all forms of entertainment during its reign, with television being one of the first things to go.

Now up and running, it is having to use old equipment that was hidden from the eyes of the Taleban.

24-hour service

It is estimated about 500,000 viewers tune in every evening for the station's mix of news, sport and films.

Kabul TV broadcasts for three hours daily, but the station aims to increase this to at least the six hours it went out pre-Taleban.

Afiz is quoted as saying he would like it to be a 24-hour service.

But the station needs to find proper funding to do this, as only a limited amount can be raised through advertising.

Money comes in from the defence ministry on the condition that military programming is included every night, including highlights of the Northern Alliance's long fight against the Taleban.

Mr Afiz is determined to find other sources of money in order to offer better programming.

He wants to replace mountain-top antennas which were destroyed during the US bombing campaign.

Cash is also needed to pay for programming, 90% of which is made locally.

See also:

18 Nov 01 | South Asia
Afghan TV back on air
16 Oct 01 | Media reports
Mediawatch: Radio reaches out to women
30 Jul 98 | South Asia
Taleban telly task force
20 Jul 99 | South Asia
TV beatsTaleban telly-ban
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