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Press TV

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Press TV

Press TV
Launched 2 July 2007 (2007-07-02)
Owned by IRIB
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Slogan News anew
Country Iran
Language English
Broadcast area Worldwide
Headquarters Tehran, Iran
Sister channel(s) Al-Alam News Network
Intelsat 902
Middle East
11555 / 30000 / 2/3 V
ArabSat 5C
Africa, Middle East, Europe
3913 / 12911 / 5/6 V
3964 / 30000 / 3/4 R
Badr 4
Middle East & Africa
12054 / 27500 3/4 V
Badr 5
Middle East & Central Asia
12303 / 27500 / 3/4 H
11881 / 27500 5/6 H
Nilesat 201
Middle East
11823 / 27500 / 5/6 V
Asia & Africa
4060 / 23000 / 5/6 H
Middle East & Asia
11051 / 30000 / 1/2 V
Thaicom 5
Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia, Australia
3574 / 6510 / 2/3 H
Optus D2
Australia, New Zealand
12519 / 22500 / 3/4 V
Intelsat 20
Europe & Africa
12602 / 26657 / 2/3 H
Eutelsat 3B
11605 / 11852 / 3/4 V
Ekspress AM44
11109 / 9479 / 3/4 H
Galaxy 19
North & Central America
11960 / 22000 / 3/4 V
Streaming media
Live Webcast Free
(Flash, Silverlight)
Video On Demand VOD
Livestation Free
Play TV Free
iPad & iPhone Free App
Android Free App
Windows Mobile Free App
Blackberry Free App
Nokia Symbian Free App
YouTube channel PressTVGlobalNews (until 2013)
PressTVbroadcast (2013-2014)
VideosPTV (2014- )
LiveLeak channel PressTV

Press TV (stylised PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English language news organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).[1] The IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management, and its head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The IRIB is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside Iran, and is close to Iran's conservative political faction.[2] Press TV broadcasts in English on a round-the-clock schedule. PressTV headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran.


Mohammad Sarafraz (Press TV CEO) said in a June 2007 press conference that, "Since September 11, Western bias has divided the media into two camps: those that favour their policies make up one group and the rest of the media are attached to radical Islamic groups like Al-Qaeda. We want to show that there is a different view. Iran, and the Shi'as in particular, have become a focal point of world propaganda. From the media point of view, we are trying to give a second eye to Western audiences."[3]

The network's official vision is "to heed the voices and perspectives of the people of the world; build bridges of cultural understanding; encourage human beings of different nationalities, races and creeds to identify with one another; bring to light untold and overlooked stories of individuals who have experienced political and cultural divides firsthand."[4] Sarafraz explained that "our experience tells us that pictorial reflection of news and the use of images are more effective than discussion and analysis."[5]

History of website and satellite TV launch

The channel's website launched in late January 2007.[6] Test satellite transmissions were conducted in late April 2007. The launch date of the channel is 3 July 2007.[7][8] On 18 March 2009, Press TV launched a new website with a modified graphical user interface.[9] Press TV upgraded to widescreen format on 17 November 2011. The aspect ratio is now 16:9 instead of 4:3.[10] It is the first Iranian channel to upgrade its screen size to this format, and the second international news network based in the Middle East to do so after Al Jazeera English.

Funding and management

Press TV is state-funded[11] and is a division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). IRIB is independent of the Iranian government, but is said to be close to the country's conservative political faction, especially the elite Revolutionary Guards.[2] Its head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.[2] PressTV headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran.

The annual budget of Press TV is 250 billion rials (more than US$8.3 million).[12]


Press TV offers round-the-clock news bulletins every half-hour, a series of repeating commentary programmes and round-table panel discussions, as well as documentary-style political films. In May 2009, Press TV CEO Mohammad Sarafraz announced that Press TV would "provide viewers with more newscasts while cutting down on its news analysis programs."[5]

Press TV was created for the purpose of presenting news, images and arguments, especially on Middle Eastern affairs, to counter the news coverage that appears on broadcasts such those of BBC World News, CNN International and Al Jazeera English.[13]

According to, "the government aims to use Press TV to counter what it sees as a steady stream of Western propaganda against Iran as well as offer an alternative view of world news."[14]

By launching an English-language television channel to promote an Iranian perspective of the world, together with an Arab-language station, the Al-Alam News Network, the Iranian government said it hoped “to address a global audience exposed to misinformation and mudslinging as regards the Islamic Republic of Iran."[15] The two networks focus on "difficult issues in the Middle East such as the United States’ occupation of neighbouring Iraq and the Shiite question."[16]

Currently, viewers can watch Press TV and the English, Arabic, and Spanish-language versions of its sister networks iFilm and Hispan TV on numerous free-to-air satellites worldwide. Official satellite footprint maps and satellite enthusiast-maintained transponder change notifications are also available and may at times be necessary to consult.


Press TV has been the subject of allegations of anti-Semitism. In October 2012, the [17]

On 9 November 2013, Press TV website reprinted an opinion piece in its 'Viewpoints' section, first written by M.I. Bhat in Veterans Today, above the disclaimer that The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Press TV. The article claimed that Jews are not only to blame for the Germans rallying behind Hitler, but also asked if Jews did not learn from their experiences in Ger­many, Russia and the United States, would it surprise Zionists or the world" if Americans are "incu­bat­ing another Hitler?"[18] The article also alleged that much had already been written and said about "Amer­i­can Zion­ists' con­trol of the United States of America - banks, Wall Street, media, Hol­ly­wood, mar­kets, politi­cians, for­eign pol­icy, indeed the whole life of Amer­i­cans," and that the recent headline, "White House urges Jewish leaders not to lobby for new Iran sanctions" was even stronger proof. Bhat also asserted that the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks were a "false flag" attack com­mit­ted by "Amer­i­can Zion­ist Jews and Israel" who successfully diverted the resulting American fury against Muslims.[18]

The station has been criticized for "anti-Americanism" and "uncritical embrace of conspiracy theories". For British journalist Nick Cohen the station is "a platform for the full fascist conspiracy theory of supernatural Jewish power"[19] and for commentator Douglas Murray it is the "Iranian government’s propaganda channel".[20]

In a 2011 interview on Press TV, [21] Mehdi Hasan of the New Statesman has argued that "engaging with Iran, no matter who is in charge in Tehran, is a prerequisite for peace and progress in the region. The very fact that Press TV is Iranian-owned makes it the ideal English-language platform on which to do so."[22]

The BBC journalist Linda Pressly has described Press TV as pro-Palestinian, anti-sanctions against Iran, and critical of Western foreign policy.[23] Nick Ferrari, a former presenter of one of Press TV's shows, told The Times that Press TV’s news coverage had been “reasonably fair” until the 2009 election—but not any longer.[24]

Removal from Western and Asian satellites

In July 2013 Press TV and other Iranian channels were removed from several European and American satellites (amongst others those of Eutelsat and Intelsat), allegedly because of the Iran sanctions, even though an EU spokesman told the channel that these sanctions do not apply to media.[25][26] In November 2012, the Hong Kong-based AsiaSat took Iranian channels off air in East Asia, and in October 2012 Eutelsat and Intelsat stopped broadcasting several Iranian satellite channels, though the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting managed to resume broadcasts after striking deals with smaller companies based in other countries.[26]

UK base

Press TV began its activities in London during 2007. Roshan Muhammed Salih was Press TV's London news editor and chief correspondent.[27]

Maziar Bahari and UK licence revocation

In June 2010, Channel 4, the British broadcaster, transmitted a programme featuring Maziar Bahari, a documentary maker and Newsweek contributor, who was arrested while covering the Iranian presidential election in 2009, and held in custody for 118 days. He alleged that a Press TV 10 second interview and 'confession' had been preceded by torture, and was given under the threat of execution.[28] Bahari, now a British resident, complained to Ofcom, the regulatory authority for the telecommunication industries in the United Kingdom.[28]

In May 2011, Ofcom ruled that Press TV was responsible for a serious breach of UK broadcasting rules by airing the 10 second interview with Maziar Bahari, accepting that it had been obtained under duress while he was held in a Tehran jail.[29] Press TV rejected Ofcom's findings and accused Bahari of being "an MI6 contact person".[30] A fine of £100,000 ($155,000 in January 2012) was eventually imposed in November 2011, reversing an initial decision to revoke Press TV's licence.[31] Press TV responded: "The British royal family exercises an overarching power over all branches in the political system of the [UK], including the government and the parliament, as well as on Ofcom."[31] At the beginning of December, The Observer journalist Nick Cohen called for Ofcom to revoke the station's broadcast licence, not only because behaviour towards Maziar Bahari, but in addition:
"If whites ran Press TV, one would have no difficulty in saying it was a neo-Nazi network. It welcomes British Holocaust-deniers such as [19]

On 20 January 2012, Press TV's licence to broadcast in the UK was revoked by Ofcom.[32] The investigation into the Bahari case had revealed the applying company's direct connection to Tehran, and that editorial control came from there. An invitation to change this in the licence had not been taken up by Press TV.[33] The unpaid fine was not the reason why Ofcom ended Press TV's licence.[34]

Geoffrey Alderman, the British historian and occasional Press TV contributor, attacked the Ofcom decision, and called for it to be reversed. He described the action by Ofcom as "thoroughly deplorable as well as palpably cynical".[35] Defenders of Press TV, including Alderman and the broadcaster's legal representative, Farooq Bajwa,[36] have referred to a formerly secret American diplomatic cable dated 4 February 2010. Later released by WikiLeaks, it says the British Government was at time “exploring ways to limit the operations of the IRIB's Press TV service”. This 'exploration' was in response to the jamming by the Iranian government of broadcasts by the BBC Persian Service and the Voice of America, also mentioned in the document[37] and mentioned by Alderman.

Removal from Astra satellite

On April 3, 2012, Munich-based media regulator Bayerische Landeszentrale für neue Medien (BLM), announced it was removing Press TV from the SES Astra satellite, as they did not have a licence to broadcast in Europe.[38][39] However, the channel's legal team submitted documents to the court that proved Press TV could broadcast under German law. An administrative court in Germany accepted Press TV's argument and the legal procedures began. Munich's Administrative Court announced on Friday 15 June that the ban was illegal.[40] Recently (September 2012), the channel has again been unavailable on Astra 19.2E.


Press TV correspondent Sonia Labboun in Madrid.

Sarafraz announced[41] at the broadcast channel's launch press conference that Press TV intended to have correspondents in cities outside Iran, as well as four correspondents covering the Israel-Palestine conflict from Gaza, Ramallah and Jerusalem. He announced that many of Press TV's foreign-based staff and freelance correspondents would be non-Iranians and that training for some of the staff had been provided by "a BBC employee."[41]

Notable current presenters include Bradford West,[42] who presents Comment and The Real Deal.[43]

Notable former presenters include Ken Livingstone, a former Mayor of London.,[44] who hosted Epilogue, a monthly book review program, and occasionally Comment.[45]

Journalist Andrew Gilligan resigned from Press TV after he said that "taking the Iranian shilling was inconsistent with my opposition to Islamism".[46] Prior to his departure, Gilligan hosted The Forum that consisted of a "regular discussion show on the station, in which Islamism, and the policies of the Iranian government, were often debated and challenged."[46]

See also


  1. ^ "Country Profile: Iran". BBC News. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Rouhanicare: Iran's president promises healthcare for all by 2018. World news | The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Iran launches English TV news station | Jerusalem Post". 
  4. ^ "Press TV". 27 September 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Press TV offers viewers new experience". 18 May 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  6. ^ "IRIB-Iran launches Press TV website". ISNA. Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. 24 January 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007. 
  7. ^ "Iran Launches English Satellite Channel". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2007. 
  8. ^ "Media Environment Guide: Iran". BBC Monitoring. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Press TV launches new website". Press TV. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "Press TV upgrades to widescreen format". Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  11. ^ Fathi, Nazila (2 July 2007). "Iran expands role in media, via satellite and in English". New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  12. ^ "بودجه پرس تی‌وی 25 میلیارد تومان است / میزان پخش فیلم‌های ایرانی و خارجی متعادل می‌شود". Mehr News. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "Iran launches English TV channel".  
  14. ^ Mediachannel
  15. ^ Ekhtiari, Khosro (15 September 2009). "A Guided Tour of Press TV".  
  16. ^ Sanati, Kimia (4 July 2007). "New TV Channel to Focus on Iraq, Shia Issues".  
  17. ^ a b "Iran's Press TV: Broadcasting Anti-Semitism To English-Speaking World".  
  18. ^ a b "American Zionists incubating another Hitler". PressTV. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Nick Cohen "Who will rid us of hate channels such as Press TV?", The Observer, 4 December 2011
  20. ^ Douglas Murray "Push off now, Press TV, and take your conspiracy theories with you", The Spectator (blog), 20 January 2012
  21. ^ "Ofcom will not silence Press TV", transcript of an interview with George Galloway, Press TV, 8 December 2011
  22. ^ Mehdi Hasan "Book me a slot on Press TV", New Statesman (blog), 16 July 2009
  23. ^ Linda Pressly. "Iran's battle for TV influence takes shape on Press TV". BBC. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  24. ^ Martin Fletcher (1 July 2009). "Presenter Nick Ferrari quits Iran Press TV over bias after election". The Times (London). 
  25. ^ "Intelsat to take Iranian satellite channels off air". Press TV. 26 June 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Iranian channels dropped by Intelsat".  
  27. ^ Salih, Roshan Muhammed (1 December 2008). "Press TV launches on Sky". Arab Media Watch. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  28. ^ a b Kylie Morris and Katie Brown "Ofcom investigates Iran's Press TV over 'interview'", The Independent, 19 June 2010
  29. ^ Sweney, Mark (23 May 2011). "Iran's Press TV censured for interview with arrested journalist". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  30. ^ "A British game against PressTV", Press TV, 22 May July 2011
  31. ^ a b Patrick Foster "Ofcom reverses decision to revoke licence of Iran's Press TV", The Guardian, 30 November 2011
  32. ^ Mark Sweney "Iran's Press TV loses UK licence", The Guardian, 20 January 2012. The Ofcom document explaining the revocation is here [1].
  33. ^ "Iran's Press TV loses UK licence", BBC News, 20 January 2012
  34. ^ David Blair "Iran's Press TV loses UK licence", Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2012
  35. ^ Geoffrey Alderman "Suppressing Press TV is deplorable – Ofcom should restore its licence now", The Guardian, 24 January 2012
  36. ^ Linda Pressly "Iran's battle for TV influence takes shape on Press TV", The Report, BBC Radio 4, 29 December 2011
  37. ^ Cable cited at "US embassy cables: Retaliation planned after Iran jammed BBC broadcasts", The Guardian (website), 5 December 2010
  38. ^ Iran slams BBC over film about Israel relations, Jerusalem Post, 7 April 2012
  39. ^ "Press TV ban refutes West’s claims on freedom of expression: Lawmaker". Press TV (IRIB). 5 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  40. ^ "German court lifts ban on Press TV". Press TV (IRIB). 15 June 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  41. ^ a b Oliver Burkeman, Helen Pidd and Robert Tait (3 July 2007). "An antidote to Fox: Iran launches English TV channel".  
  42. ^ Wintour, Patrick (30 March 2012). "George Galloway wins Bradford West byelection". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  43. ^ "Press TV". 
  44. ^ "About Ken | Ken for London". 4 May 2012. 
  45. ^ Peter Dominiczak "Ken Livingstone quits lucrative presenting job on Iranian state television", Evening Standard (This is London website), 27 January 2011
  46. ^ a b "Mehdi Hasan: New Statesman's senior editor makes up quote". The Telegraph (London). 22 November 2010. 

External links

  • Official website
    • Press TV free streaming
    • Press TV programs
    • Press TV documentaries
  • Official Facebook page
  • How to watch Press TV for Free via Satellite in North America
  • Media war against Iran - PressTV (2012)
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