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Television in Iran

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Television in Iran

Television was introduced to Iran in 1958, when TVI (Television Iran) was established in Tehran as a privately owned and commercially operated monopoly, and granted a concession of five years, repeated by a second.[1] A southern branch of Television Iran, based in Abadan, was established in 1960.[2] Its programming included quiz shows and American programmes dubbed into Persian, and appealed to an unsophisticated audience.[1] Habib Sabet, a Baha'i who was one of Iran's major industrialists, was the founder of the first television station.[3]

A separate National Television Network (NITV), established in 1966, catered for a more educated public.[1] TVI was nationalised in 1969, becoming a government monopoly which employed about 9,000 people by 1979.[1] NITV was then merged with Radio Iran in 1972, forming the National Iran Radio and Television (NIRT).[4] Full colour programming began in 1978, although the 1974 Asian Games had been broadcast in colour.[1]

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution the NIRT continued to exist, but was renamed as "Seda va Sima-ye Jomhouri-e Eslami-ye Iran" (Voice and Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran), and known as the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) in English.[4]

Although satellite dishes are banned under a 1994 law,[5] the research centre of IRIB estimates that they're used by up to 70% of Iranian households.[6]

Despite being repeatedly jammed, the BBC Persian channel had a weekly audience of 7.2 million in 2011.[7] GEM TV is one of the most popular satellite channels in Iran. Based in Dubai, it is broadcast illegally into the country.[8] Farsi1, a satellite channel part owned by News Corporation broadcasting mostly comedies and dramas from Latin America and Korea, is one of the most popular stations in the country.[9]

The political opposition broadcasts from outside Iran via the satellite TV channel Simaye Azadi Iran National TV.

See also

References

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