One of the most important ways that USAGM distributes TV content is through partnerships with local media affiliates, supported by TSI’s Office of Business Development. Business Development staff at headquarters, as well as regional representatives and dozens of contractors around the world, help build and cultivate relationships that place USAGM content on more than 3000 media affiliates, whose airing of USAGM content brings the Agency about two-thirds of its global audience.
In FY2017, Business Development’s placement efforts for the joint VOA/RFE Russian-language “Current Time” program offerings and linear channel continued to dominate efforts in Eurasia. Thirty-eight stations in 13 countries are airing content from the channel; 58 cable, satellite, and over-the-top (OTT) outlets are airing the full 24-hour channel.
“Washington Bureau” placements to major television outlets in Latin America continue to drive past-week audience figures, which topped 60 million in the most recent Global Audience Report.
While USAGM does not do much direct terrestrial TV broadcasting (most is via affiliate television stations), the Agency does have some TV transmission assets in Iraq. In FY2017, a new 4000-watt transmitter in Baghdad was installed to replace a lower-power backup unit that had been in service when the primary had failed earlier.