The Situation of Foreign Satellite TV Channels1 in Iran: A Research in Ardabil Province

Mohammadbagher Sepehri, Mansor Salehi


Iran is a multi-ethnic society with a variety of cultures and languages, but Iranian radio and television are state-owned, and their national networks broadcast all programs in Persian which is a limitation within a diverse society. This paper discusses the popularity of satellite TV viewing among Azerbaijani Iranians in the north-western province of Ardabil. The Ardabil region shares borders with Turkey and the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan and audiences view satellite broadcasts from these countries. The purpose of this paper is to identify the primary reasons for the use of Turkish and Azerbaijani TV channels by the people of Ardebil. It is hypothesized that Ardabil audience preferences are based on the common culture and language between Turkey, Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran’s Azerbaijan region. A survey conducted by the author indicates that 68 percent of owners point their satellite dishes toward the Turkish satellite; more than 94 percent of the viewers with satellite TV choose Turkey and Azerbaijani channels; and 57 percent of them spend more than three hours per day watching these programs. Nearly 70 percent of the viewers said that if a Turkish channel was established in Iran, they would watch. In addition, 65 percent declared that common cultural ties influence their choice of channels.


Media; Common cultural aspects; Turkey and Azerbaijan

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