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VOA Teams Up with Pakistan TV on Special Debate Coverage

VOA and Pakistan Television Network team up to produce live coverage and interactive analyses of U.S. presidential debates

Washington, D.C., October 6, 2008 -The Voice of America (VOA) and Pakistan Television Network (PTV) are teaming up to produce live coverage and interactive analyses of the U.S. presidential debates for millions of Urdu-speaking Pakistani viewers.

"This unique cooperation between VOA and PTV allows Pakistanis to watch the debates, and then to hear experts in both the United States and Pakistan discuss important issues raised by the U.S. presidential candidates," said Danforth Austin, VOA's director.

The VOA-PTV special at the second presidential debate on Tuesday between Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., in Nashville, Tenn., includes 90 minutes of live programming. The show begins with 30 minutes of pre-debate discussion from experts in Washington and Islamabad. Following the debate, there will be continued commentary with the participation of VOA correspondents in Nashville.

A similar show is to air during the October 15 debate in Hempstead, N.Y. VOA and PTV, Pakistan's state television network which reaches about 90 percent of people in Pakistan, are also planning joint coverage of the U.S. elections on November 4.

The VOA-PTV special is part of VOA's international coverage of the historic 2008 presidential election in the United States. Besides live coverage of the debates, VOA has a special interactive dedicated to political and election coverage.

Televised debate coverage is carried in English on the following VOA satellite paths - Intelsat 907, New Skies 806 and 703 (VC 340 only), Asiasat 3, and Eutelsat Hot Bird 3 (VC 340 only). Special coverage in Urdu of the presidential debates airs on New Skies 703 (VC 420), Asiasat 3 (VC 409), and Hot Bird 3 (VC 240).

VOA's Urdu service produces a daily, 30-minute television program - Beyond the Headlines. VOA also has a radio program, Aap Ki Dunyaa - Your World in English-that broadcasts 12 hours a day on medium-wave (AM) and shortwave. The program, aimed at young people, includes news, information, music, call-in shows and features.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, please call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail