Television in Iraq

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Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi state media collapsed. In June 2004, a Communications and Media Commission was set up to approve and grant licenses for all the country's media.[1] By 2011, Iraq was main headquarters to 49 free-to-air satellite channels, one of the highest number in the region.[1]

Until 2003, satellite dishes were banned, and there were a limited number of national terrestrial stations in the country.[1] After 2003, the sale of satellite dishes surged, and free-to-air channels entered the market.[1]

There are 16 terrestrial channels, of which three are owned by the US-funded state broadcaster Iraqi Media Network.[1] In March 2011, Al Jazeera was granted rights to re-establish operations in the country, after being banned in 2004.[1] There are plans to set up a media free zone based in Baghdad, the Baghdad Media City, which is targeted for completion towards the end of 2014.[1]



The first TV station in Baghdad began broadcasts on 2 May 1956. In 1967 the second Iraqi TV station was founded in Kirkuk, and in 1968 new stations began in Mosul and Basrah. In 1975 color programming was introduced using the French SECAM system.[2]

Iraqi TV was the primary TV station[3] in Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in power. Until the 2003 invasion of Iraq, much of its programming was patriotic music videos, government news and propaganda. It ceased broadcasting during the 2003 invasion when the transmitter network became inoperable due to bombing raids.

Because Iraqi TV was free to air, it also received a substantial amount of attention from viewers outside Iraq, especially during the 2003 invasion of the country.

A second TV channel called Youth Channel (Qanaat Al-Shabaab) was opened in 1994 and broadcast many subtitled Western movies and music videos before the 2003 invasion. Foreign programmes were censored to remove strong language, sex, and violence so programming would be suitable for all ages.


Many TV stations have appeared since the fall of Saddam. Under the direction of Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III as the Administrator, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) began issuing radio and television licenses in June 2003 to meet the great demand for broadcasting licenses. The licenses were issued by the CPA Senior Adviser for Telecommunications. To plan for the expected great demand, this CPA office worked with Iraqi radio-frequency spectrum engineers and managers to develop a national FM-radio and TV channel allotment plan for all of the major Iraqi cities and towns. The national plan was developed using technical criteria and the Region 1 (Europe, Africa and the Middle East) allotment plan that was developed years before by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations treaty organization. The Iraqi allotment plan consisted of hundreds of FM radio and TV stations allotted to the cities and towns. The channels in the allotment plan were then open to anyone to apply for a license for a particular channel.

The CPA developed a few basic rules and regulations in June and July 2003 to provide a limited regulatory control of the broadcasters. For example, broadcasts inciting riots were prohibited. The overall CPA objective was to issue many licenses to provide for a plethora of diverse voices, information, music, and news to satisfy the desires and tastes of the Iraqi citizens. The CPA also recognized that broadcasting was a combination of business, advertising, journalism, engineering, and entertainment, and a robust and thriving broadcasting industry could provide a large number of excellent and highly desirable professional jobs that would reduce national unemployment. The CPA also recognized that commercial broadcasting could provide wealth-building opportunities to successful broadcasters.

The Iraqi Media Network (IMN), a public broadcasting network similar to the Public Broadcasting System in the United States, was issued radio and TV licenses by the CPA.

The CPA continued its work as the national broadcasting licensing and regulatory authority until June 2004 when the Iraq Communications and Media Commission (CMC) was established as the national regulatory agency that would issue licenses and regulate broadcasting and telecommunications.

In August 2014, LANA TV a new general entertainment channel started broadcasting regional series dubbed in Iraqi dialect. This is the first time that a TV Channel is broadcasting high quality Iraqi dubbing. LANA TV has hired Iraq's top theatre actors and actress such as Ustad Sami Qeftan to train the dubbing artists.

The overall result is that there are hundreds of radio and television stations operating in Iraq.

List of channels[edit]

North Region (Iraqi Kurdistan)[edit]

Channel Category Owner/Political Party Broadcaster
1 WORLD HD United MixMedia
Al Hurria TV
Amozhgary Religious United MixMedia
Ankawa HD United MixMedia
Art TV United MixMedia
Asman HD United MixMedia
ASO Sport Tv Sport United MixMedia
Astera HD United MixMedia
AUC1 Kurdistan TV Business
AUC2 Kurdistan TV Business
Babylon HD United MixMedia
Bangawaz Religious United MixMedia
biaban Family HD United MixMedia
biaban Movies HD United MixMedia
biaban Music HD United MixMedia
biaban SPORT Sport United MixMedia
Bablyon TV Music United MixMedia
Badinan TV
Business Media Channel (BMC) Business United MixMedia
Chara HD United MixMedia
Cihan HD United MixMedia
Dahen Tv United MixMedia
Delal TV Zaxo
Democracy HD General
DUHOK United MixMedia
Effect HD United MixMedia
ESTA United MixMedia
FALCONeye HD United MixMedia
Family HD United MixMedia
Gali Kurdistan Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Gali Kurdistan Hawler Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Gali Kurdistan Slemani Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Gali Kurdistan Sport HD Sport Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
GEM KURD General
Hawler TV
Hettaw TV
iBaby HD Kids United MixMedia
iMovies HD Cinema, Film United MixMedia
Jamawari Kurdistan HD Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party United MixMedia
Jojo Mama Kids United MixMedia
JSN United MixMedia
Judy United MixMedia
Kurdistan K24 News, Documentary Kurdistan Democratic Party
Masrour Barzani
United MixMedia
Kanal 4
KIRKUK General Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
KOMALL HD Religious United MixMedia
Korek TV Music
Kurd Shop Shopping
Kurd Sport TV Sports Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Kurdistan Sport HD Sport United MixMedia
Kurd1 Channel
Kurdish News Network (KNN) News Gorran Movement United MixMedia
Kurdistan Parliament TV Government Kurdistan Regional Government
Kurdistan TV General Kurdistan Democratic Party United MixMedia
Kurdmax United MixMedia
Kurdmax Show United MixMedia
Kurdmax Pepule Kids United MixMedia
Kurdsat General Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Kurdsat News News Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
LAWAN HD United MixMedia
MaxTV Music United MixMedia
MINARA United MixMedia
Net TV United MixMedia
New Art United MixMedia
Newline United MixMedia
Newline 2 United MixMedia
Niga Family HD United MixMedia
Niga Kids United MixMedia
Niga Movies United MixMedia
nTV Drama United MixMedia
NRT News News New Generation Movement
Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir
United MixMedia
NRT2 General New Generation Movement
Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir
United MixMedia
Payam tv Religious Kurdistan Islamic Group
Pelistank TV Kids United MixMedia
Parwarda United MixMedia
Qellat tv United MixMedia
Rangin TV
Rasan United MixMedia
Rega Political Communist Party of Kurdistan
Reklam 4u Marketing
Rudaw News, Documentary Kurdistan Democratic Party
Nechirvan Barzani
United MixMedia
Silemani Tv United MixMedia
Speda TV Religious Kurdistan Islamic Union United MixMedia
Srusht Religious
U TV Religious Kurdistan Islamic Union United MixMedia
U2 Channel Religious Kurdistan Islamic Union United MixMedia
U TV Sulaimani Religious Kurdistan Islamic Union United MixMedia
Vîn TV Music
WAAR TV Music United MixMedia
WAAR TV Sport Sport
Xak TV Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Xezan United MixMedia
XFM United MixMedia
Zagros TV Kurdistan Democratic Party United MixMedia
Zaro tv Government, Kids Kurdistan Regional Government
Zarok TV (Based in Turkey) Kids

South Region (Rest of Iraq)[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Arab Media Outlook 2011-2015" (PDF). 2012. pp. 179–180.
  2. ^ Douglas A. Boyd (October 1982). "Radio and Television in Iraq: The Electronic Media in a Transitionary Arab World Country". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-25. Retrieved 2010-01-15.