International Radio and Television Organisation

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International Radio and Television Organisation
Organisation Internationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision
The OIRT logo
OIRT member states.png
  Members at the date of dissolution
  Members who participated at various times before dissolution
  Associate members
Merged intoEuropean Broadcasting Union
Established28 June 1946 (1946-06-28)
Dissolved1 January 1993 (1993-01-01)
TypeUnion of broadcasting organisations
HeadquartersBrussels (1946–1950)
Prague (1950–1993)

The International Radio and Television Organisation (official name in French: Organisation Internationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision or OIRT (before 1960 International Broadcasting Organization (IBO), official name in French: Organisation Internationale de Radiodiffusion (OIR)) was an East European network of radio and television broadcasters with the primary purpose of establishing ties and securing an interchange of information between those various organizations responsible for broadcasting services, promoting the interests of broadcasting, seeking by international cooperation a solution to any matter relating to broadcasting, and studying and working out all measures having as their aim the development of broadcasting.


Without British participation, 26 members founded the OIR on 28 June 1946; the next day, at the General Assembly of the International Broadcasting Union (IBU), an attempt was made to dissolve this body, but the motion failed to obtain the required majority. However, 18 of the 28 existing members left the IBU and become co-founders of the new OIR.[1]

In 1946, the newly created OIR installed itself in the IBU building in Brussels. Technical activity was taken up again under the authority of two directors, one delegated by the Soviet Union and the other by France. However, the political situation gradually degraded into the Cold War and this created an uneasy situation of distrust within the staff of the Technical Centre.[1]

In 1950 some members (mostly western European) left the organization to form the new European Broadcasting Union (EBU), among them Belgium, Egypt, France, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Tunisia and Yugoslavia.[1]

Broadcasting organizations from the following countries remained members: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Finland (also a member of EBU), East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Syria and the Soviet Union.

As a consequence, the OIR headquarters and its Technical Centre was relocated from Brussels to Prague in 1950.[2][3] Staff members from Belgium and other Western countries, some of whom had already been active before the war, stayed on in Brussels and the centre became the technical centre of the new EBU.

Unlike the EBU, the OIRT was not limited to European and Mediterranean countries and has been operating since its inception as a global organization. Members of the organization included countries aligned with the Eastern bloc, such as Cuba, Vietnam, the People's Republic of China and North Korea (although the latter's membership was temporarily inactive after their break with the USSR), as well as the allies of the USSR temporarily led by communist parties, such as Nicaragua and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, and the African and Middle Eastern states having been temporarily associated or supported by the socialist camp.

On January 1, 1993, two years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the OIRT merged with the European Broadcasting Union.[3][4]


One of several logos used by the Intervision Network. This one comes from the Soviet Union.

The television network of OIRT was established in 1960 and was called Intervision[5] (Russian Интервидение, Bulgarian Интервизия, Polish Interwizja, Czech Intervize, Hungarian Intervízió, Finnish Intervisio),

Between 1977 and 1980 the OIRT organised four Intervision Song Contests in Sopot, Poland, in an attempt to imitate the Eurovision Song Contest.

Active members[edit]

Country Organism Abbreviation Date of joining Date of exit
Afghanistan Radio Television Afghanistan RTA 1978 1992
Albania Radio Televizioni Shqiptar RTSH 1946 1961
Algeria Radiodiffusion télévision algérienne RTA 1962 1970
Belgium Institut national de radiodiffusion INR 1946 1950
Nationaal Instituut voor de Radio-omroep NIR 1946 1950
Belarus Belaruskaja Tele-Radio Campanija BTRC 1991 1993
Bulgaria Bălgarsko Nationalno Radio BNR 1946 1993
Bălgarska Nationalna Televizija BNT 1959 1993
China Radio Peking RP 1952 1961
Beijing Television BTV 1958 1961
Cuba Instituto Cubano de Radio y Televisión ICRT 1962 1993
East Germany Rundfunk der DDR DDR 1951 1990
Deutscher Fernsehfunk DFF 1952 1990
Egypt ERTU 1946 1950
Estonia Eesti Raadio ER 1991 1993
Eesti Televisioon ETV 1991 1993
Finland Yleisradio Oy Yle 1946 1993
France Radiodiffusion française
Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française
RDF / RTF 1946 1950
Hungary Magyar Rádió HU 1946 1993
Magyar Televízió MTV 1952 1993
Italy RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana RAI 1946 1950
Latvia Latvijas Radio LR 1991 1993
Latvijas Televīzija LTV 1991 1993
Lebanon Télé Liban TL 1946 1950
Lituania Lietuvos Radijas ir Televizija LRT 1991 1993
Luxembourg Compagnie luxembourgeoise de radiodiffusion CLR 1946 1950
Morocco Société Nationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision SNRT 1946 1950
Moldova TeleRadio-Moldova TRM 1991 1993
Monaco Radio Monte Carlo RMC 1946 1950
Nicaragua Sistema Sandinista de Televisión SSTV 1984 1990
Netherlands Nederlandse Radio Unie NRU 1946 1950
North Korea Korean Central Broadcasting Committee KCBC 1953 1993
Poland Polskie Radio PR 1946 1993
Telewizja Polska TVP 1952 1993
Romania Societatea Română de Radiodifuziune ROR 1946 1993
Televiziunea Română TVR 1956 1993
Russia Radio Dom Ostankino :
- Radio Mayak (MK)
- Radio Orpheus (OP)
- Voice of Russia (VOR)
RDO 1991 1993
Kanal Ostankino C1 1991 1993
RossijskoeTeleradio RTR 1991 1993
Syria Organisme de la Radio-Télévision Arabe Syrienne ORTAS 1946 1993
USSR Vsesoyuznoye radio 1946 1991
Tsentral'noye televideniye SSSR TsT SSSR 1946 1991
Czechoslovakia Československý rozhlas ČSR 1946 1992
Československá televize ČST 1957 1992
Tunisia Radio Tunis RT 1946 1950
Ukraine Natsionalna Radiokompanya Ukraïny NRU 1991 1993
Natsionalna Telekompaniya Ukraïny NTU 1991 1993
Vietnam Voice of Vietnam VOV 1956 1993
Vietnam Television VTV 1976 1993
South Yemen Aden Radio 1971 1990
Yemen TV 1971 1990
Yugoslavia Jugoslovenska Radio-Televizija JRT 1946 1950

Associated members[edit]

Country Organism Abbreviation Date of joining Date of withdraw
West Germany Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ARD 1988 1993
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen ZDF 1988 1993
Mongolia Mongolian National Broadcaster MNB 1967 1993


  1. ^ a b c "EBU 50th Anniversary" (PDF). Difussion EBU. Geneva: European Broadcasting Union. 2000. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Lewis, David (January 20, 2012). "The Situation of Public Broadcasting in Europe" (PDF). Geneva: European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved July 24, 2017. The EBU was founded in 1950 and initially drew its membership largely from western Europe, while a rival sister organization based in Prague, the OIRT, served the state broadcasters under Soviet domination the other side of the Iron Curtain.
  3. ^ a b Central and Eastern Europe: Audiovisual landscape and copyright legislation. Audiovisual Eureka and European Audiovisual Observatory. 1994. ISBN 978-9-0621-5459-3. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "50 years of Eurovision" (PDF). EBU Dossiers. Geneva: European Broadcasting Union. January 2004. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  5. ^ Paulu, Burton (1967). "Programs: information". Radio and Television Broadcasting on the European Continent. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 141. OCLC 321366. Retrieved July 24, 2017.

External links[edit]