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]

History[edit]

1956-2003[edit]

Television first arrived in Iraq on 2 May 1956, at first only in the Baghdad area. In 1967 the second TV station was built in Kirkuk, and by 1968 transmitters had been constructed in Mosul and Basrah. In 1975 colour television was introduced using the French SECAM system.[2] By 1976 the entire country could receive broadcasts from the central station in Baghdad after the installation of a microwave relay system.

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.

A second TV channel was established in the late 1970s broadcasting on channel 7 in the Baghdad area. The channel was renamed Youth Channel (Qanaat Al-Shabaab) on 17th July 1993 and broadcast 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. Other channels available included Baghdad Cultural TV, Al-Shabaab 2 and Iraq Satellite Channel.

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

2003-present[edit]

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
4 Chra United MixMedia
ACE Kids Kids United MixMedia
ACE Music Music United MixMedia
ACE Movies Cinema, Film United MixMedia
All Doc HD Documentary United MixMedia
All Sport HD Sport 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
Astera Show
Astera Movies Cinema, Film
AUC1 Kurdistan TV Business
AUC2 Kurdistan TV Business
Azadi Tv United MixMedia
Babylon HD United MixMedia
Bangawaz Religious United MixMedia
Biaban Family HD United MixMedia
Biaban Movies HD Cinema, Film United MixMedia
Biaban Music HD Music United MixMedia
Biaban Sport HD Sport United MixMedia
Bablyon TV English 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 United MixMedia
Democracy HD General United MixMedia
DUHOK United MixMedia
Effect HD United MixMedia
ESTA United MixMedia
Falcon Eye HD United MixMedia
Falcon Family HD United MixMedia
Gali Kurdistan Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Gali Kurdistan Slemani Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Gali Kurdistan Sport Sport Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Gali Kurdistan Hawler 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 HD United MixMedia
Judi United MixMedia
Kurdistan K24 News, Documentary Kurdistan Democratic Party
Masrour Barzani
United MixMedia
Kanal4
KIRKUK General Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
KOMALL HD Religious United MixMedia
Korek TV Music
Kurd Shop Shopping
Kurd Sport TV Sport 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 General Aramo Media United MixMedia
New Art
Newline TV United MixMedia
Newline 2 United MixMedia
Niga Family HD United MixMedia
Niga Kids Kids United MixMedia
Niga Movies Cinema, Film United MixMedia
NIROJ TV
Nishtimani MN HD United MixMedia
NRT News News New Generation Movement
Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir
United MixMedia
NRT2 General New Generation Movement
Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir
United MixMedia
ntv Drama United MixMedia
Payam Tv Religious Kurdistan Islamic Group
Pelistank TV Kids United MixMedia
Parwarda Education United MixMedia
Qalat Tv United MixMedia
Rangin TV
Rasan United MixMedia
Rebari
Rega Political Communist Party of Kurdistan
Reklam 4u Marketing
Rega United MixMedia
Reng Documentary Documentary United MixMedia
Reng Kids Kids United MixMedia
Rudaw News, Documentary Kurdistan Democratic Party
Nechirvan Barzani
United MixMedia
Silemani Tv United MixMedia
Speda TV Religious Kurdistan Islamic Union United MixMedia
Srusht Religious
Tueshw HD United MixMedia
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
UMM United MixMedia United MixMedia
Vîn TV Music Sarkat Junad Rekani & Kawa Junad Rekani
WAAR TV Music Palo Co. United MixMedia
WAAR TV Sport Sport
Xak TV Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Xak Kids Kids Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Xak Movies Cinema, Film Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Xak Music Music Patriotic Union of Kurdistan United MixMedia
Zagros TV General Kurdistan Democratic Party United MixMedia
Zaro tv Government, Kids Kurdistan Regional Government
Zarok TV (Based in Turkey) Kids

South Region (Rest of Iraq)[edit]

Channel Category Owner/Political Party Broadcaster
Al Anwar TV 2
Al Hurra Iraq United States
Radio Sawa United States
Aletejah TV
Al Iraqiya Republic of Iraq
Al Sharqiya Saad al-Bazzaz
Al Sumaria
Nawa TV
Al-Baghdadia TV Awn Hussain Al Khashlok
Al Forat Ammar al-Hakim
Ashur TV Assyrian Democratic Movement
Biladi
Baghdad TV
Afaq TV Nuri al-Maliki
Al Rasheed TV Saad Asem Al-Janabi
Ahlulbayt TV
Al Masar
Al Fayha
Ishtar TV Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council
LANA TV
Asia Network Television
Karbala TV
Alahad TV Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq
Hadi TV Hadi Foundation

References[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". Middle Eastern Studies. 18 (4): 400–410. doi:10.1080/00263208208700522. JSTOR 4282908.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-25. Retrieved 2010-01-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)