Television in Afghanistan
Television in Afghanistan is in stages of development after years of war.
Television was first introduced in 1964, when a new organization called Radio Television Afghanistan (government-owned) founded a TV channel. After the completion of feasibility study under grant aid from Japan, construction work of the studio and transmitter buildings were finished by August 1978. During the 1980s, many Soviet programmes were airing such as the children's show Nu Pogodi!. Television was unsurprisingly making a large impact during the decade.
From 1992 onwards, television like other media in the country went into a decline as a result of the destruction of Kabul and the country's infrastructure. During the Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001, television was strictly banned. Anyone owning or watching TV was arrested and punished. Stores were not allowed to sell TVs, satellite dishes, VCRs, DVD players, or video cameras. When the Karzai administration came to power in December 2001, television service was preparing to be re-introduced soon after, with RTA launching again the following year after German funding built broadcasting buildings in Kabul.
It was reported in 2011 that as many as 76 television channels are available in Afghanistan, 36 of them in the capital of Kabul. They are broadcasting news, entertainment, religious, sports and cultural programs with each channel having its own viewers.
Most people in Afghanistan prefer to watch TV in the evening, between 7pm to 11pm. As of 2012, there are believed to be about 76 television channels in the country.
- Tolo TV has an audience share of 29%; 1TV share of audience is 21%, Ariana TV 10%, Lemar TV 9%, Shamshad TV 5%, Afghan TV 4%, and 26% for others.
This compares to data taken in 2010, which showed results once dominated by Tolo TV.
This study was consulted by Altai Consulting in July 2010:
- Herat: Tolo TV has an audience share of 60%, followed by Ariana TV (17%), RTA (5%), Lemar TV (4%), Afghan TV (4%), and 13% of all other available channels.
- Jalalabad: Tolo TV has an audience share of 40%, followed by Ariana TV (15%), RTA (13%), Shamshad TV (9%), Sharq (6%), and 16% of all other available channels.
- Kabul: Tolo TV has an audience share of 39%, followed by Ariana TV (11%), Emrooz TV (9%), RTA, Afghan TV, Lemar TV and 1TV (5%), Shamshad TV (3%), and 12% of all other available channels.
Notice: Emrooz TV is now closed
- Kandahar: Tolo TV has an audience share of 34%, followed by Ariana TV (26%), Lemar TV and Hewad TV (13%), Yak 1TV, RTA (3%), and 6% of all other available channels.
- Khost: Lemar TV has an audience share of 38%, followed by Tolo TV (23%), RTA (20%), Ariana TV and Shamshad TV (9%), and 1% of all other available channels.
- Mazar-E-Sharif: Tolo TV has an audience share of 51%, followed by Ariana TV (11%), Yak 1TV (10%), Arezo (9%), Lemar TV (7%), Afghan TV (4%) and 8% of all other available channels.
Number of channels per city
As of July 2010:
- Herat has 18 available channels.
- Jalalabad has 8 available channels.
- Kabul has 36 available channels.
- Kandahar has 9 available channels.
- Khost has 6 available channels.
- Mazar-i-Sharif has 11 available channels.
In Afghanistan, many people watch TV through traditional analog terrestrial signals using indoor antennas (some outdoors too). There are also satellite television viewers - but those are for watching foreign channels, mainly European, American, Indian, Turkish, Pakistani, and Iranian. In the last few years, there have also been a fast-growing number of cable television providers and viewers, with the newest houses in the country connected to cable networks.
On January 2013 Afghanistan's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has held a meeting with TV broadcasters on plans to switch from analogue to digital transmission systems. Afghanistan has adopted the DVB-T2 standard and the switchover would begin in Kabul.
Before 2005, there were no Afghan channels available in North America and Europe. Many viewers were watching Iranian channels (with the same language, Persian), most notably PMC, Jaam-E-Jam, Tapesh, Omid-e-Iran OITN and IPN.
On the Iranian channel IPN, for instance, there was an Afghan show broadcast around 2003.
List of channels
|Name||Studio location||Available in|
|Yak TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, South Europe, Libya|
|Afghan Entertainment Television AET||United States||North America|
|Afghan TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, North Africa, East Europe, Middle East|
|Afghan News||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, North Africa, East Europe, Middle East|
|Afghanistan National Television ANTV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan|
|3 Sport||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, Kabul|
|Afghan Television Voice of Christ||United States||Afghanistan, Iran, Europe, Middle East|
|Ariana Afghanistan AATV||United States
|North America, Europe, North Africa|
|Ariana TV ATN||Afghanistan
United Arab Emirates
|Afghanistan, India, North America, Europe, Middle East, North Africa|
|ARZU TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan (Balkh Province)|
|ARZU TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, Europe, Middle East|
|Asia TV Network||Afghanistan||Afghanistan|
|Ayna TV||Afghanistan||Currently out of service|
|Bakhtar TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan (Kabul)|
|Eslah TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan (Herat Province)|
|FARSI1||United Arab Emirates||Europe, Middle East|
|Herai||Afghanistan||Afghanistan (Herat Province)|
|Hewad TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan (Kandahar Province)|
|Kabul TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan (Kabul Province)|
|Khorasan TV||United States||North America|
|Lemar TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, South Europe, Libya|
|Noor TV||United States||North America|
|Noor TV Afghanistan||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, South Europe, Libya|
|Pashto TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East, Europe, North America, Rest of the World through IPTV|
|North America, Europe|
|Rah-e-Farda||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, Europe, Middle East|
|Sharq||Afghanistan||Afghanistan (Nangarhar Province)|
|RTA||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, India, North America, Europe, Middle East|
|Saba TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, East Europe, Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia|
|Saba World||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, East Europe, Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia|
|Sada-E-Afghanistan SATV||United States
|North America, Europe|
|Shamshad TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, East Asia, Oceania, East Asia|
|SPINGHAR TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, East Asia, Oceania, East Asia|
|Taban||Afghanistan||Afghanistan (Herat Province and Nangarhar Province)|
|Tolo TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, South Europe, Libya|
|TOLOnews||Afghanistan||Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, South Europe, Libya|
|Zala TV||Afghanistan||Afghanistan (Kunar Province)|
- EBC.1 was launched in 2005 as the first Afghan channel available in West and North Europe, broadcasting from Germany. It closed later that year due to financial issues, but was than purchased by an Iranian. EBC.1 has since become an Iranian music channel and is still active today.
- Emrooz TV closed down in July 2010.
- "ISAF Spokesman Discusses Progress in Afghanistan". International Security Assistance Force/NATO. July 25, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- http://www.altaiconsulting.com/docs/media/ Altai Consulting, July 2010, Media in Afghanistan
- Altai Consulting, July 2010, Media in Afghanistan