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Iraqi Media Network launches satellite TV network

The Iraqi Media Network has unveiled a new satellite TV bouquet, transmitted via Arabsat from its orbital location of 26 degrees East.

The development, which includes a new broadcast centre in Baghdad, is the culmination of cooperation efforts between the Saudi-based Arabsat and the Iraqi Media Network (IMN) to develop the audiovisual infrastructure in Iraq, Rapid TV News reports.

Viewers will now be able to watch their favourite Iraqi channels on a single frequency across the Middle East and North Africa, and into Asia and Europe, IMN said.

“One advantage of this bouquet is granting free and competitive subscriptions, as well as [to] dispense [with] the fixed broadcasters’ satellite middleware, which will save the high operating costs for each channel, with the continued high reliability [of] transmission,” said Mohammed Abdul-Jabbar Al-Shabout, director general, Iraqi Media Network.

The Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq established IMN in March 2003. Now state-run, IMN acts as a holding company for Al Iraqiya TV and Republic of Iraq Radio, as well as sponsoring the newspaper Al-Sabah.

Satellite TV is watched by about 70% of television viewers in Iraq, with MBC’s Al Arabiya and Qatar’s Al Jazeera among the most popular channels. Foreign broadcasters include Iran’s Al Alam TV, which can be viewed in Baghdad without a satellite dish, as well as the BBC and US-backed Al Hurra TV.