Press TV

Press TV
Launched 8 July 2007 (2007-07-08)
Owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Picture format 576i , 16:9 (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Slogan News Anew
Language English
Broadcast area India, United States, UK, Worldwide
Headquarters Tehran, Iran
Sister channel(s) Al-Alam News Network
Jamaran CH43 UHF Digital (SD)
Alvand CH34 UHF Digital (Full HD)
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 and documentary network, affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).[1] IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management, and is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside Iran. IRIB's head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is considered to be close to the country's conservative political faction. Press TV is headquartered in Tehran, Iran, and has offices and bureaus around the world, including London, Beirut, Damascus, Kabul, and the Gaza Strip. It bills itself as a third alternative to what it considers to be biased Western media and to Sunni media attached to radical Islamic terror groups; critics consider it a shill for the Iranian regime.


Press TV CEO Mohammad Sarafraz 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."[2]

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."[3] Sarafraz explained that "our experience tells us that pictorial reflection of news and the use of images are more effective than discussion and analysis."[4]

History of website and satellite TV launch

The network's website launched in late January 2007.[5] Test satellite transmissions were conducted in late April 2007. The channel launched on 3 July 2007.[6][7] On 18 March 2009, Press TV launched a new website with a modified graphical user interface.[8] Press TV upgraded to 16:9 widescreen format on 17 November 2011,[9] being the first Iranian network to upgrade its feed 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[10] and is a division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). IRIB is independent of the Iranian government and its head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; according to The Guardian, it is close to the country's conservative political faction, especially the elite Revolutionary Guards. It is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside the country.[11] Press TV's headquarters are located in Tehran.

As of 2009, 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."[4]

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 network 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[17] and satellite enthusiast-maintained transponder change notifications[18] are also available and may at times be necessary to consult.


In 2012, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a report alleging that Press TV has been broadcasting what the ADL says are examples of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and opinions.[19] The report criticizes Press TV for interviewing or providing commentary space for a number of individuals (such as David Duke) described by the report as "American anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers, who help amplify the Iranian regime's hateful messages".[19]

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"[20] and for commentator Douglas Murray it is the "Iranian government’s propaganda channel".[21] In a 2011 interview on Press TV, George Galloway, Press TV's UK presenter and former British MP, responded to Cohen and others, stating that Press TV "challenges the prevailing orthodoxy" by providing an outsider perspective on "the truth and a voice for the otherwise voiceless".[22] 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."[23]

The BBC journalist Linda Pressly has described Press TV as pro-Palestinian, opposed to sanctions against Iran, and critical of Western foreign policy.[24] 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.[25]

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.[26][27] 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.[27]

UK base

Press TV began its activities in London during 2007. Roshan Muhammed Salih was Press TV's London news editor and chief correspondent.[28] Other London correspondents include Amina Taylor and Eisa Ali.

Mayiar Bagheri 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.[29] Bahari, now a British resident, complained to Ofcom, the regulatory authority for the telecommunication industries in the United Kingdom.[29]

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.[30] Press TV rejected Ofcom's findings and accused Bahari of being "an MI6 contact person".[31] A fine of £100,000 was eventually imposed in November 2011, reversing an initial decision to revoke Press TV's licence.[32] 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."[32] On 20 January 2012, Press TV's licence to broadcast in the UK was revoked by Ofcom.[33][34] 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.[35] The unpaid fine was not the reason why Ofcom ended Press TV's licence.[36]

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".[37] Defenders of Press TV, including Alderman and the broadcaster's legal representative, Farooq Bajwa,[38] 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[39] and mentioned by Alderman.

Removal from Astra satellite

On April 3, 2012, Munich-based media regulator de:Bayerische Landeszentrale für neue Medien (BLM), announced it was removing Press TV from the SES Astra satellite, as it did not have a licence to broadcast in Europe.[40][41] 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.[42] In September 2012 the channel was again unavailable on Astra 19.2E.

Current presenters

Former presenters

External Contributors

Manuel Ochsenreiter far right journalist and editor of the radical right-wing magazine Zuerst! [57][58] Ali Ansari Head of Iranian Studies at St Andrews University Scotland, Hooshang Amirahmadi Director of American-Iranian Council, Roozbeh Aliabadi Director of Global Growth Partners, Kevin Barrett, Holocaust denier and former university lecturer, Jane Calvary Writer and Expert on political Discourse, Finian Cunningham Anti-war protester, Homa Lezgee Former Presenter, Hamid Reza Emadi Press TV Director.

Current programmes

Former programmes

See also


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