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. By 2011, Iraq was main headquarters to 49 free-to-air satellite channels, one of the highest number in the region.
Until 2003, satellite dishes were banned, and there were a limited number of national terrestrial stations in the country. After 2003, the sale of satellite dishes surged, and free-to-air channels entered the market.
There are 16 terrestrial channels, of which three are owned by the US-funded state broadcaster Iraqi Media Network. In March 2011, Al Jazeera was granted rights to re-establish operations in the country, after being banned in 2004. 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.
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.
Iraqi TV was the primary TV station 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
North Region (Iraqi Kurdistan)
South Region (Rest of Iraq)
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- Al Anwar TV 2, Iraq's first Arabic privately owned satellite TV station
- Al Hurra Iraq, Radio Sawa, US-owned TV channel.
- Aletejah TV
- Al Iraqiya, the government-financed television station
- Al Sharqiya, Iraq's first privately owned satellite TV station
- Al Sumaria, an independent Iraqi satellite TV network
- Nawa TV, an Iraqi TV station broadcasting in Arabic and Kurdish
- Al-Baghdadia TV, Arab nationalist channel
- Al Forat, the SIIC TV station
- Ashur TV
- Baghdad TV
- Afaq TV, channel of Nuri al-Maliki
- Al Rasheed TV
- Ahlulbayt TV
- Al Masar
- Al Fayha
- Ishtar TV, an Assyrian TV station
- LANA TV
- Asia Network Television
- Karbala TV
- Alahad TV
- Hadi TV
- "Arab Media Outlook 2011-2015" (PDF). 2012. pp. 179–180.
- Douglas A. Boyd (October 1982). "Radio and Television in Iraq: The Electronic Media in a Transitionary Arab World Country". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-25. Retrieved 2010-01-15.