U.S. media reported in June 2020 on a potential Iranian move to shut down several of its foreign language channels, a move that could include Press TV. According to a report by Radio Farda, the Iranian branch of the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL):
June 10, 2020 Iran’s state television may have to shut down several foreign language channels due to financial strains caused by sanctions, mismanagement, falling viewership figures and long-standing differences between the state broadcaster and the presidential administration. Payman Jebelli, the head of the external services of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Broadcasting organization (IRIB) told Fars news agency on Wednesday June 10 that the organization’s ideologically charged Al-Kowsar TV network as well as the Iranian Radio’s Dari service have already been closed due to accrued debts to satellite providers. Jebelli added that a dozen other TV channels including the English-language Press TV and the Arabic news network Al-Alam, the Spanish language Hispan TV as well as i‑Film channels in Arabic and English are among the networks that might be shut down soon due to financial strains.
The report adds:
Other than dozens of radio and TV networks beaming programs abroad, the IRIB operates two dozen channels in Tehran as well as over 30 provincial channels that often broadcast the same programs. Meanwhile it has several offices in other countries that spend millions of dollars on their staffing and operations.
Read the report here.
Over the years, a number of actions have been taken in regard to Press TV:
- UK regulators found that the channel was running its editorial offices from Tehran and not from the UK, thus breaching the Communications Act.
- In June 2020, Facebook started labeling Russian, Chinese, and other state-controlled media organizations including Press TV as “state media”, and was later expected to block any ads from such outlets that target US users.
- In January 2020 YouTube deleted the Press TV channel after a UK media report indicated it was being used for pro-Tehran, anti-Israeli propaganda.
Press TV is part of the media structure of the Iranian influence network. US media reports that It was founded in 2007 and is sponsored by Iran’s state-run television operation, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. According to its website, Press TV “takes revolutionary steps as the first English broadcasting international Iranian news network.” Press TV had its UK broadcasting license revoked in January 2012 by British communication’s regulator Ofcom, which found that the channel was running its editorial from Tehran and not from the UK, thus breaching the Communications Act. In the UK, the channel is directed by film director and writer Hamid Khairoldin, who is also connected to other pro-Iranian media outlets. A 2015 report by the details various antisemitic themes and conspiracy theories promoted in its programs.