By: Mir M.Hosseini
The first Television transmitter was installed in Tehran on Oct, 25, 1958 and the date is known as the day TV broadcasts started. The Iranian TV was a privately owned company broadcasting programs for only four hours per day.
In the summer of 1966, after installation of several transmitters nationwide, the National Iranian Television started as a public broadcast company in October 1966. The Plan and Budget Organization allocated a budget for the project, and the Ministry of Economy allocated land for a temporary structure, and on October 26, 1966, National Iranian Television sent its first broadcast message, a statement by the Shah.
On March, 20, 1967, the National Iranian Television was officially inaugurated with special programs for the Norooz celebrations. Five years later, both the National Television and National Radio companies merged into one single organization called the National Iranian Radio and Television.
In June 1967, the Parliament approved a proposal for the economic and administrative independence of NITV. Prior to 1967 television had covered about 2.1 million people. When NIRT began regular transmissions that year, coverage rose to 4.8 million, and by 1974 had risen to over 15 million, roughly half the total Iranian population. By 1975–76 radio covered almost the entire country, and 70 percent of the population had television reception.
For 22 years the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) broadcast a local radio service (Radio 1555) and a local TV service (Channel 7) to the capital of Iran from their studios in Tehran. However in 1976 it was decided by the Iranian government that AFRTS should close down its radio and TV services, which it did on 25 October 1976, the day before the Shah of Iran’s 57th birthday.
Radio 1555 closed with presenter: Airforce Staff Sergeant Barry Cantor playing as the last record: Roger Whittaker’s Durham Town (The Leaving). This was followed by a closing announcement by Chief Master Sergeant and Station Manager: Bob Woodruff, followed by the American National Anthem.
The following morning, the 26th October 1976, the Shah’s birthday, this additional Iranian government owned radio and television service began under the control of NIRT Director General: Mr. Reza Ghotbi.
After the 1979 Revolution, NIRT changed to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, or IRIB.
Currently, the IRIB has branches in 45 countries worldwide, including France, Belgium, Malaysia, UK, the United States, and broadcasts in more than 30 languages. IRIB produces 5000 hours of TV shows, 300 movies and 20,000 minutes of animated movies, annually.