Iran’s new English-language TV news channel, Press TV, went on air today. This is the newest entry in the increasingly crowded field of English-language international news channels.
Press TV’s website has been running for a few months at http://www.presstv.com/. The new channel has a staff of over 400 and 26 international correspondents in different countries. The 24-hour schedule includes news every 30 minutes and three daily and live 55-minute programs.
The impact of Press TV in the US will be very limited. The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera English launched its own Washington broadcasting center but US cable operators refused to carry it and its US audience has since been limited to a relatively few expatriates who own satellite dishes and choose to watch their homeland news in English.
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which owns and operates Press TV, also runs a 24-hour Arabic-language news channel, Al-Alam (The World). Al-Alam’s news and programming center is based in Beirut and many of its staff are Lebanese. Al-Alam competes with Pan-Arab satellite news channels Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.