Harvard students can start watching Moscow's nightly news, Leningrad game-shows and ballet, athletics and soap-operas from the Soviet motherland by this spring, administrators say.
A satellite-receiving dish already ordered by the Russian Research Center and designed to monitor internal Soviet broadcasts should be operational by March, said Marshall Goldman, the center's associate director.
He said the center bought the $25,000 system, one of the first of its kind, from Omaha, Nebraska's Creighton University to help students of Russian language, politics, history, and culture.
Creighton's set-ups already exist at Columbia University's Herman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union, at Vassar College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Arizona, according to Creighton telecommunications professor Leland E. Lubbers.
In addition, Stanford University plans to follow Creighton's lead next year by hooking up the Soviet TV channel to all its dorm rooms, said Lubbers.
Goldman said Harvard students will have to come to the center to view the Russian shows.
Lubbers praised the concept of inter-superpower viewing, calling it "vastly educational." Speaking of Creighton's experience, he said, "The initial response was mystification. Imagine the amazement of students who had seen Russia as something extremely mysterious, if not frightening."
Added Kenneth Schaffer, who installed the Columbia system: "No country can be completely foreign once you've gotten to know its weather lady."