International Radio and Television Organisation

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For other uses, see Intervision (disambiguation).
OIRT member states
One of several on-screen logos used by the Intervision Network. This one comes from the Soviet Union.

The International Radio and Television Organisation (official name in French: Organisation Internationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision or OIRT (before 1960 Organisation Internationale de Radiodiffusion (OIR)) was an East European network of radio and television broadcasters with the primary purpose of establishing ties and securing an interchange of information between those various organizations responsible for broadcasting services, promoting the interests of broadcasting, seeking by international cooperation a solution to any matter relating to broadcasting, and studying and working out all measures having as their aim the development of broadcasting.

Without British participation, 26 members founded the OIR on 28 June 1946. Next day, at the General Assembly of the International Broadcasting Union (IBU), an attempt was made to dissolve this body, but the motion failed to obtain the required majority. However, 18 of the 28 existing members left the IBU and become co-founders of the new OIR.

In 1946, the newly created OIR installed itself in the IBU building in Brussels. Technical activity was taken up again under the authority of two Directors, one delegated by the Soviet Union and the other by France. However, the political situation gradually degraded into the Cold War and this created an uneasy situation of distrust within the staff of the Technical Centre.

In 1950 some members (mostly western European) left the organization to form the new European Broadcasting Union (EBU), among them Belgium, Egypt, France, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Tunisia and Yugoslavia.

Broadcasting organizations from the following countries remained members: People's Republic of Albania, People's Republic of Bulgaria, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Finland (also a member of EBU), German Democratic Republic, People's Republic of Hungary, People's Republic of Poland, People's Republic of Romania, Syria and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

As a consequense, the OIR headquarters and its Technical Centre was relocated from Brussels to Prague in 1950. Staff members from Belgium and other Western countries, some of whom had already been active before the war, stayed on in Brussels and the centre became the technical centre of the new EBU.

The television network of OIRT was established in 1961 and was called Intervision (Russian Интервидение, Bulgarian Интервизия, Polish Interwizja, Czech Intervize, Hungarian Intervízió),

Between 1977 and 1980 the OIRT organised four contests of the Intervision Song Contest in Sopot, Poland, in an attempt to emulate the highly successful Eurovision Song Contest.

On January 1, 1993, it merged with the European Broadcasting Union (which runs the Eurovision Network).

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