Press TV

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Press TV
Launched8 July 2007; 12 years ago (2007-07-08)
Owned byIslamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Picture format576i, 16:9 (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
SloganNews Anew
Broadcast areaWorldwide
HeadquartersTehran, Iran
Sister channel(s)Al-Alam News Network
JamaranCH43 UHF Digital (SD)
AlvandCH34 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 WebcastFree
(Flash, Silverlight)
Video On DemandVOD
Play TVFree
BlackberryFree App
Nokia SymbianFree App
YouTube channelPressTVGlobalNews (until 2013)
PressTVbroadcast (2013–2014)
VideosPTV (2014–present)
LiveLeak channelPressTV

Press TV (stylised as PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English- and French-language[1][2] news and documentary network affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).[3] Press TV is headquartered in Tehran and is extensively networked with bureaus in various cities;[4] the service is aimed at the overseas market, similar to DD India, WION, BBC World News, DW, France 24 and RT.


Iran's first international English-language TV channel was established in 1976.[5] Later in 1997, Sahar TV started its work, broadcasting in multiple languages including English.[5] Iran's Press TV was launched in July 8, 2007 to compete with other 24-hour English-language satellite channels like the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera International.[6]

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."[7]

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."[8] Sarafraz explained that "our experience tells us that pictorial reflection of news and the use of images are more effective than discussion and analysis."[9]

History of website and satellite TV launch[edit]

The network's website launched in late January 2007.[10] Test satellite transmissions were conducted in late April 2007; the channel launched on 3 July 2007.[11][12] On 18 March 2009, Press TV launched a new website with a modified graphical user interface.[13] Press TV upgraded to 16:9 widescreen format on 17 November 2011,[14] 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[edit]

Press TV is state-funded[15] and is a division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside the country.[16] 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.[17] 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).[18]


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."[9]

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.[19]

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."[20]

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."[21] The two networks focus on "difficult issues in the Middle East such as the United States’ occupation of neighbouring Iraq and the Shiite question."[22]

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[23] and satellite enthusiast-maintained transponder change notifications[24] 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;[25] 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".[25]

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"[26] and for commentator Douglas Murray it is the "Iranian government’s propaganda channel".[27] In a 2011 interview on Press TV, George Galloway, one of the station's presenters and a British politician, 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".[28] 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."[29]

The BBC journalist Linda Pressly has described Press TV as pro-Palestinian, opposed to sanctions against Iran, and critical of Western foreign policy.[30] 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.[31]

Removal from Western and Asian satellites[edit]

On 3 April 2012, Munich-based media regulator Bayerische Landeszentrale für neue Medien [de] (BLM), announced it was removing Press TV from the SES Astra satellite, as it did not have a licence to broadcast in Europe.[32][33] However, the channel's legal team submitted documents to the court that proved Press TV could broadcast under German law. Munich's Administrative Court announced on Friday 15 June that the ban was illegal;[34] as of September 2012 the channel became unavailable on Astra 19.2E after the High Administrative Court of Bavaria had overturned the urgent ruling and confirmed the regulatory authority's decision.

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 that are based in other countries.[35] 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 spokesperson told the channel that these sanctions do not apply to media.[36][35]

Potential designation as a 'terrorist entity'[edit]

On June 26, 2008, the United States House of Representatives has attempted to declare Press TV, the Arabic Al-Alam News Network and several IRIB-affiliated channels as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity" proposed by Florida congressman Gus Bilirakis; the proposed resolution calls the broadcast of 'incitement to violence' against Americans in Middle Eastern media while Bilirakis claimed that as Iranian state-run TV channels broadcast 'the coverage of rallies and speeches in which Iranian leaders, clerics, children, and mass audience have declared 'Death to America!' due to broadcasting incitement of violence against Americans. [37][38][39]

Maziar Bahari and UK licence revocation[edit]

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.[40] Bahari, now a British resident, complained to Ofcom, the regulatory authority for the telecommunication industries in the United Kingdom.[40]

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.[41] Press TV rejected Ofcom's findings and accused Bahari of being "an MI6 contact person".[42] A fine of £100,000 was eventually imposed in November 2011, reversing an initial decision to revoke Press TV's licence.[43] 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."[43] On 20 January 2012, Press TV's licence to broadcast in the UK was revoked by Ofcom;[44][45] 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;[46] the unpaid fine was not the reason why Ofcom ended Press TV's licence.[47]

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".[48] Defenders of Press TV, including Alderman and the broadcaster's legal representative, Farooq Bajwa,[49] 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[50] and mentioned by Alderman.

UK base[edit]

Press TV began its activities in London during 2007. Roshan Muhammed Salih was Press TV's London news editor and chief correspondent.[51]

Notable presenters[edit]

Current presenters[edit]

  • Derek Conway, a former British Conservative Member of Parliament, presents Epilogue and Comment, on occasion.
  • Lembit Öpik, presents A Simple Question.[52]

Former presenters[edit]

  • George Galloway, a former UK parliamentarian and past leader of the far-left Respect Party, presented Comment and The Real Deal.[53]
  • Andrew Gilligan, a journalist who resigned from Press TV after he said that "taking the Iranian shilling was inconsistent with my opposition to Islamism".[54] 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."[54]
  • Ken Livingstone, a former Mayor of London.[55] He hosted Epilogue, a monthly book review programme, and Comment on occasion.[56]
  • Lauren Booth, presented Between the Headlines (until 2009), Remember Palestine and The Diaspora.[57]
  • Nick Ferrari, LBC 97.3 host who used to present The Forum until 2009 prior to the Iranian Elections.
  • Tariq Ramadan, presented Islam & Life (until early 2014).[58]
  • Yvonne Ridley, a British journalist.[59]

External contributors[edit]

Current programmes[edit]

  • A Simple Question – A show where your views matter. Presented by Lembit Öpik.[61]
  • Africa Today – Analytical weekly review of political, economic and social events in Africa, the world's second largest continent.[62]
  • Coffee In Palestine – A show that talks about Politics in Palestine where the audiences opinion gets heard. Filmed in Ramallah.[63]
  • Economic Divide – A show recorded in Tehran and hosted by news anchor Kaveh Taghvai. The show takes a look at world economies: the power of major banks, the stock markets, and its effect on democracy, and the distribution of wealth around the world.[64]
  • Face To Face – 25 min weekly show with interviews with people from different backgrounds.[65]
  • Hollywood Cut – A show investigating Hollywood's role.
  • Infocus – 25-minute twice-weekly show with a report documentary from a Press TV correspondent.[66]
  • Inside Out – A 25-minute magazine show exploring the U.S, produced and presented by Susan Modaress[67]
  • Iran – A 25-minute weekly show covering topical issues on Iran plus reports and interviews on major cultural events held in the country over the week.
  • Iran Today – A twice-weekly analysis of major political, economic, cultural and social events concerning Iran. It was formerly produced by Joobin Zarvan and Amir Tajik.[68]
  • Islamic Awakening – Show hosted by Ahmad Haneef.[69]
  • Middle East Files – A show that talks about the politics in the Middle East. The format is that there are 3 files per episode.[70]
  • Press Plus – A show that gives the latest technology updates. Presented by Reza Nayebi.[71]
  • Reporters' File – A weekly reportage-oriented programme, dealing with various Iranian and world stories, from a local correspondent's perspective. The show was formerly produced & hosted by Joobin Zarvan; it is now produced and presented by Saeed Pourreza.[72]
  • Spotlight – A show about developments that affected peoples lives.[73]
  • The Chronicles – A book review show with interviews with the author and critics. Presented by Derek Conway.[74]
  • The Debate – A 25-minute debate show presented by the news anchors.[75]
  • The Monarchy – A show all about Britain's Politics.[76]
  • The Sun Will Rise – A show all about Palestine. Presented by Roshan Mohammed Salih.[77]

Former programmes[edit]

  • Alternate Reality Video clips from around the world showing the iniquities of globalisation, looking at power, money and injustice.[78]
  • American Dream A weekly programme giving a warts-and-all picture of life in the USA from ghettos to gated communities to the White House.[79]
  • Autograph 25min weekly interview with academics, authors, politicians and dignitaries encompassing a whole range of different topics from cultural to highly political issues. The program was produced and hosted by Susan Modaress.[80]
  • Behind The Talks – The program that took a look at Iran’s proposals on the objectives of talks with the 5+1 in Istanbul and Baghdad.[81]
  • Between the Headlines – A review of the day's headlines hosted by Mark Watts, Lauren Booth, Afshin Rattansi, Amina Taylor[82] and Jan Fossgard, aired live from London.
  • Big Story – A show that explores the truth about Britain. Hosted by Amina Taylor.[83]
  • Canon – A 25-minute weekly show debating the legal perspective on the social and political issues around the world.[84]
  • CinePolitics – A weekly 25-minute show. The show examined current cinematic releases, and explored the underlying political and social issues that shaped them.[85]
  • Comment – A live show from London hosted by George Galloway. The format allows a studio audience to ask the presenter questions or argue with him.[86]
  • Diaspora – Programme presented by Ken Livingston and Derek Conaway.This Program pursued the life of Palestinian refugees who are now residing in Britain; each episode shows hardships imposed on different individuals who have different stories.[87]
  • Double Standards – Programme presented by Afshin Rattansi.This Program was talking all about politics. Broadcast from the heart of London.[88]
  • Energy World – A 25-minute weekly show, dealing with current energy issues together with their political undercurrents, presented by former Russia Today host Amanda Burt.[89]
  • Epilogue – A 25-minute weekly programme on literature, featuring interviews with writers and critics, hosted by Derek Conway, Bob Stewart, Hugo de Burgh and James Whale.[90]
  • EuroFocus – Presented by Roshan Muhammed Salih and Fareena Alam, offers a weekly round-up of news and features from all over Europe.[90]
  • 4Corners – 25 minutes of live daily news commentary panel discussion. The show covered critical news stories from across the globe; the show was presented by Shahb Mossavat and Joobin Zarvan.[91]
  • Fine Print – Twice weekly show on on-line media. The show was presented by Amir Arfa.[92]
  • Hart of the Matter – A show where veteran broadcast journalist Alan Hart engages a host of intellectuals, investigative journalists and activists, amongst others, in conversation.[93]
  • Hearts and Minds[94] – 45-minute Panel Discussion on U.S. foreign policy produced in New York City. For several months, Hearts and Minds was presented by Alan Weisman[95][failed verification] (former producer of the Charlie Rose Show, and author of biographies of retired CBS newsman Dan Rather and defence expert Richard Perle[95]) After Weisman, Stephanie Woods, a former reporter for the MTV News political news program Street Team '08,[96] assumed the role of host in June 2009 until the program's last broadcast on 30 September 2009.[97]
  • Inside Bahrain A show that gave the latest updates on Bahrain.[98]
  • Interaction A show that reviewed the latest Press TV programmes, news and feedback.[99]
  • Islam & Life A show presented by Tariq Ramadan that dealt with the challenges and opportunities facing Muslims, especially in the west.[100]
  • Middle East Today – 25 minutes of daily panel discussion on the region's most news-making events, broadcast live from Tehran and presented by Chris Gelken, Joobin Zarvan and Marzieh Hashemi . It is also aired on weekends, from Beirut by Mariam Saleh and Marlin Dick and Zeinab Safar.[101]
  • Minbar – A weekly Q&A about Islam presented by Ahmad Haneef.[102]
  • Money Trail – A 25 minutes weekly expose of the pay to play underworld of money and power produced and hosted by Amir Arfa.[103]
  • My Journey to Islam –A show that interviews famous personalities journey to Islam.[104]
  • Off The Cuff – Another audience-driven programme hosted by James Whale and Mike Mendoza. The show focuses on controversial issues where the presenter asks the questions around the theme and the audience express their views.[citation needed]
  • On The Edge With Max Keiser – The show focuses on financial issues. Presented by Max Keiser.[105]
  • Outside the Box – A weekly 25-minute show hosted by Tina Richards.
  • Women's Voice – A programme made by women for women. The show scrutinizes the status of women in the West and deals with their common issues, challenges and upheavals.
  • World Week Watch – Half-hour round-up of world events by Oscar Reyes and Kristiane Backer.
  • The Link – A weekly debate-driven talk show incorporating both experts and a studio audience dealing with a wide range of political, social, economic, environmental, sports and cultural issues affecting the world at large. The show was presented by Amir Arfa and Joobin Zarvan.

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

Media related to Press TV at Wikimedia Commons