back to article Iranian gov mouthpiece Press TV finally gets taken off the air in the UK

Iranian government-backed broadcaster Press TV has finally got its fondest wish and lost its UK broadcast licence, but its martyrdom is self-inflicted rather than the result of any government conspiracy. The channel, which had a home on the Sky Satellite platform, has been claiming to have been banned since October, saying it …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russia Today

    Not enough potato harvest reports for my liking!

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Worth it for the Keiser Report

      As title...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anti-Slavic racism

      One of the few form of racism still acceptable. I wonder why that would be?

      1. Armando 123

        And rednecks; you can't make fun of anyone but rednecks.

        Of course, when your car breaks down, you don't want some fey-clad interior-designer-looking guy driving the tow truck ...

  2. Darryl
    Thumb Up

    Thanks for including Fox News in that list!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ultimate definition of an Oxymoron

    "Fox News"

    1. Mephistro

      "Fox News" is almost the perfect name for that company...

      ...If you take in account that the founder's original family name was 'Fuchs', pronounced the german way. "Fucks News" would be still more accurate.

    2. Chad H.


      Isn't Fox News a comedy channel?

  4. F111F

    You Forgot to Include...

    BBC, CBS, NBC, NPR, etc in the list of ideologically motivated broadcasters. I'm sure it was just because The Reg only wanted to keep the story to one page, right?

    1. Chad H.


      Exactly what Ideology are CBS and NBC motivated by?

      As for BBC and NPR, if "to educate, inform and entertain the public" is an ideology now, I think I have my new religion....

      1. Arctic fox

        @Chad H........: Ahem. If you take a look at his choice of "targets" in his complaint....

        .....I think we can detect a member of the swivel-eyed and barking end of the Repubs disgruntled at El Reg including Fox News on their little list. For them Fox News isn't ideological it is simply broadcasting the truth. All other sources of news slightly more liberal than their homeboys Genghis and Attila (famous Fox News commentators :-P) are part of the Great Liberal Conspiracy.

      2. F111F

        CBS and NBC Are So Far Left...

        CBS is so far left, they make the Democratic Party look Republican. And that's from scholarly research, not my opinion, BTW. MSNBC was caught actively campaigning for Obama in the last election, there's some objectivity for you. They even complained about how hard they worked for him on air! As for the Beeb, you must be joking...they've had a hard-on for anything conservative for about two solid decades now. Don't even get me started on the NPR, those guys are completely owned by the liberal left, lock, stock, and barrel.

        So the conservative side gets one, just one network, and it's all: "Take up arms brothers! We musn't let dissenting opinions actually be aired!" Heaven forbid anyone actually replicate the same attack-dog reporting from the other side, or have opposing opinionated talking heads, that simply won't do!

        So the liberals get the major newspapers, the conservatives get talk radio, and they're duking it out for majority shares of the TV spectrum. Has it ever occurred to you that the reason Fox has done so well is because they are the lone conservative voice on TV, whereas the liberal audience is spread across CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, etc?

        Consider just how balanced the nation has been over several election cycles with percentages in the 40's for both sides and independents/small segments swaying elections. Either side gets above 55% and they start calling it a "mandate", when that term used to belong to winning with 75% or more. The nation is gridlocked because neither side can earn a majority large enough to push through their agenda, and somehow one, just one network is to blame? Doesn't that just reek of partisan reporting by pretty much ALL the networks to you?

        How long has Fox been around? CBS? NBC? CNN? ABC? NPR? If they were really providing an objective, independent viewpoint, would Fox have anything more than a few percentage points? The Brits are stuck with a Gov't-given independent agency where the Beeb is concerned, so they have only themselves to blame for that one, and us with NPR, for that matter... Frankly, Fox is a creation by negligence of the other networks. Had they taken care of business earlier, we'd not be having this discussion/rant...and speaking of which, I'm all ranted out, carry on.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Left wing? I don't think you know what that is

          If you think CBS is left wing (or Obama for that matter) then I can only assume that you are either Hitler or Ann Rand. Or are so totally desensitised by the Tweedledee/Tweedledum nature of politics that you no longer know left from right.

          "Has it ever occurred to you that the reason Fox has done so well is because they are the lone conservative voice on TV"

          No. It has occurred to me that selling nonsense to gullible morons is never a bad investment, however.

          "Consider just how balanced the nation has been over several election cycles with percentages in the 40's for both sides and independents/small segments swaying elections. "

          Well, exactly. The difference between "left wing" and "right wing" in US politics is, to most outsiders, almost invisible.

          In short, there's nothing of substance to report in US politics and one solution is to invent stuff and then scream about it. Which covers Fox News' entire editorial policy at a stroke. CNN is much the same although instead of being annoying it is simply sad and pathetic in its transparent manufacturing of fantasy news items.

          It's not that the other networks are not reporting stuff, it's that they have not (quite) got to the moral nadir where they are happy to fill the air time with lies and fiction simply in order to get a reaction out of an electorate that, sub-consciously at least, know that whoever they vote for the country is run by and for big business.

          1. F111F

            So, Don't Take My Word, Take His...


            Admittedly, the study is six years old, but I haven't seen much change in any of the networks to make this study out of date. Still confident of your position? Or, are you ready to admit the mainstream media are biased left of center, especially CBS? In fact, I bought the entire report and it pretty much shows Fox to be just to the right of center, with the noted exceptions, not nearly as far off center as are CBS and the other networks. Ergo, if you want more centrist news reporting, tune into Fox, again with certain exceptions.

            OK, it's Saturday evening and I have other, better plans than hanging about here...

            1. Armando 123

              IIRC, didn't over 90% of the White House press corps vote for Clinton in both presidential elections, when he did not get a simple majority either time?

              Oh, but there's no bias, of course.

        2. Mephistro

          @ F111F

          "So the conservative side gets one, just one network, and it's all"

          Yeah, but Foxy News is worth at least a dozen of the other networks. See examples in the link below.

          The icon is about my reaction the first time I read it. My favourite one is the one that says ""Is Afghanistan being ungrateful towards America?"

        3. Armando 123

          Fix found a gap in the market and filled it. Like them or not, that is the alpha and omega of it.

        4. Andy 97

          "You gone taken a wrong turning there boy..."

          I think you'll find the BBC are rather left of center and always have been.

          Thankfully this does balance the other media outlets which aren't.

        5. Mike Flugennock

          re: CBS and NBC are so far left...

          "CBS is so far left, they make the Democratic Party look Republican. And that's from scholarly research, not my opinion, BTW. MSNBC was caught actively campaigning for Obama in the last election..."

          D'AHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ...oh, damn', I've wet 'em.

          Sorry, you've just set off my Teabagger Alarm. Yeah, I guess CBS and NBC are "leftist" to someone who hangs the "Marxist" tag on anyone even a crotch hair to the left of Lester Maddox. "Scholarly research"? By which researchers, and in what journals or reports? Put up or shut up.

          During the recent Iraq War, CBS and NBC were among the loudest cheerleaders and most diligent suppressors of dissent, as they are during the current Afghanistan quagmire. NPR's news "reporting" has in the past decade been so pro-corporate and anti-labor that some have nicknamed them Nominally Public Radio. CNN is only different from Fox in that they do a better job of not coming off like a bunch of right-wing zanies. And far from being "leftist", MSNBC is actually tepid centrist liberal at the very best, nothing more than a Democratic Party mouthpiece... and speaking as someone who identifies as a Leftist, hearing a bunch of Teabaggers referring to the Democrats as "leftists" is, to me, simultaneously insulting and hilarious.

          Recently, Fox "News" has been unable to shut up about how Newt Gingrich's serial adultery and multiple marriages would make him a "stronger President" -- totally neglecting how they ripped Bill Clinton a new one for doing precisely what Gingrich is doing: banging the staff behind his wives' backs. This only highlights the sad fact that the US "news" media have lurched so far to the right that Fox News has repeatedly been forced to break the Goofy Meter just to distinguish themselves as a right-wing media outlet.

          1. Chad H.

            @ F111f

            If you turn to the right, the centre appears on your left,

            On your liberal bias claims I refer you to the book "lies and the lying liars who tell them" by al Franken. Franken took on the alleged liberal bias heads on, looking at the number of pro gore and pro Clinton news reports, and anti ones. In almost all cases there were more anti than pro.

            Ero, either Gore and Clinton are conservative, or it's all in your head.

      3. Arctic fox

        @Chad H......... I am sure you will agree that it was very nice of him to........ a second time and confirm just about every single point in my description of where he was likely coming from politically!


        >Exactly what Ideology are CBS and NBC motivated by?

        American Corporatism.

  5. Rob 21


    I thought you could get a decent picture of the ME by letting Al Jazeera and Press cover what the other left out. Fox is just MSM on PCP, no more ideologically biased than Sky, just with added chewing the scenery and soiling itself. RT has become the refuge of independent US journalists of late.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank goodness

    I live in a country which embraces the freedom to disseminate information without undue government censorship.

    1. Jonas Taylor


      "I live in a country which embraces the freedom to disseminate information without undue government censorship."

      Which country is that?

      Are you talking about Canada? At first I thought you might be referring to the US, as Americans love to talk up their constitution, but Al Jazeera is banned from broadcasting in most US states, despite offering incredibly high journalism standards (as stated by Hilary Clinton) and being broadcast in the UK without issue. And US news channels even entered into an arrangement with the government not to broadcast footage of military corpses returning home during the Iraq war. The US doesn't even make it into the top category for freedom of press.

      If your statement is based upon freedom of press then it must be one of the countries with the highest rating, so it could be Canada, Norway, Sweden or Finland. It would be a lot easier if you simply included all the relevant information, rather than leaving us all to guess.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        It embraced it, it extended it. Next step is...

        And no, we aren't any better, or any safer from censorship here, despite $FAVOURITE_BROADCAST_NETWORK being able to air here. If I've learned anything on my travels it's that most allegedly free nations exercise a great deal of ideologically-motivated censorship and many media organisations engage in a great deal of equally-motivated self-censorship. It's just that the targets are a little different depending on each nation's culture and recent history.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It was a satirical statement

        I live in the UK, like the vast majority of posters on here.

        A couple of years ago, that would have been commonly understood on here.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: ou forgot to include ...

    But they are Our Ideologically Motivated broadcasters, and hence Good Guys whereas PressTV is theirs and hence a Bad Guy. Simple.

  8. Neily-boy

    Clearly the most mental "news" channel is NHK World. It somehow manages to fill 365 days of the year with absolutely nothing, but in stunning high definition. For those of you who have never seen it, I challenge you to watch for just five minutes without shouting "What the f*ck is this sh*t?" at the screen.

    1. Armitage

      I really liked that channel, used to enjoy the cooking show and J-melo, hated it when they got rid of the sd channel last year, hopefully its still the same stuff otherwise im gonna be :( when i get an HD box

      1. L.B.

        I'm with you Armitage...

        I'm peeved that it's gone HD only.

        I liked the cooking, cultural, and other factual programs, along with added world news events not covered by the likes BBC/Sky.

        Unlike the BBC (and a slightly lesser extent Sky News) they do report what happing in the world even if there is no video for the morons to oggle at, and they have professional reporters rather than idiots on twitter/facebook to supply their content.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's Japan

      What do you expect?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It'll mean the all-British Daily Express will be able to reclaim pole position for purveyor of weird conspiracy theories and epic idiocy masquerading as news.

  10. DJGM

    At least one good thing comes from this . . .

    One less public soapbox for that vile, despicable, poisonous slimeball surnamed Galloway. Good riddance ... for now.

  11. Merlin54

    What dodgy interview ?

    And what's the dodgy interview for being fined and losing a licence ? What exactly has being said in the interview ? Where is the interview ?

    1. DrXym

      Under durress

      Press TV interviewed a journo and broadcast clips of it without mentioning the pertinent fact that this guy was in prison at the time and threatened with execution as a spy unless he answered the questions exactly the way the authorities told him to. i.e. he was under extreme duress and Press TV didn't see fit to mention this pertinent fact while trying to disparage him.

  12. InsaneLampshade
    Big Brother

    "rather than the result of any government conspiracy"

    Prove it.

    Luckily much the same as the US's futile attempts at shutting down file sharing by taking out one site, Press TV is still available to be streamed to everyone on their website:

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Easy to prove

      The whole thing's been done in the open. They got caught airing an interview with someone who'd been tortured (or threatened with it, or both), and was giving scripted answers, from inside a prison in Tehran.

      They neglected to inform the viewers of this. That earned them a £100k fine. Which they are now refusing to pay.

      They also turn out to be in breach of their license, because they're not a UK channel, but an Iranian one. Their London office isn't in charge - like they guaranteed it would be.

      They could fix all of this, and keep broadcasting, but they choose not to.

      Hence, no conspiracy.

      I suspect their viewing figures were so pants, that it was decided that it wasn't worth keeping going. Plus they lost lots of their staff, and credibility, over their coverage of the rigged elections in Iran. Now that actually was a conspiracy...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easy to prove

        That's not proof, that's just regurgitating what the British media have told everyone about this.

        Have you seen/read the documents and all correspondence involved with your own eyes? Thought not.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Yes of course.

          When faced with a simple and obvious explanation that makes perfect sense, the correct answer is the convoluted multinational conspiracy run by space gnomes.

          Occam's razor is a cunning plot by the NSA to discredit Those Who Know The Truth!!!11!!

          In this particular case, the ones punting the conspiracy theory are drooling theocrats who make the most ridiculous raving teapots of the tinfoil hat brigade seem eminently sensible. Why are you even bothering to attempt to breathe life into this cobblers?

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          @ Anonymous Coward

          See post above, with which I agree. But to give you more of an answer, I betook myself to the Press TV website, and had a good old rummage around.

          They fail to make a defence, so I don't see why I have to assume they have one. So far as I can tell, they've brought the whole thing on themselves.

          I've heard an interview with the guy who they broadcast, from inside a prison, but neglected to mention this (rather vital) fact. Now when I heard him interviewed, he wasn't under threat of torture. So while he would have every motive to lie (were he a real CIA agent), still he had less motive than when he gave the original 'interview'.

          Also, I don't buy the Iranian government story that the CIA inspired the entire protests against the 2009 election - making it less likely he's a CIA agent... On the grounds that the CIA aren't really popular enough to get several hundred thousand people marching to the centre of Tehran, especially under the threat of beatings, possible torture or worse.

          In fact, I failed to find any mention on their website of what they'd been accused of, let alone a defence against said accusations. Which strongly suggests to me, they don't have one. Otherwise, they'd make it.

          So I'm going to assume wrongdoing, rather than conspiracy. Until someone provides convincing (or in fact any) evidence to the contrary. Occam's Razor.

          Oh, also, I don't personally believe Ofcom could find its own arse with both hands and a map. Which leads me to doubt it's capable of taking part in an international conspiracy. Please come back if you actually have some evidence though...

  13. Christian Berger

    You shouldn't get television from a "plattform"

    You should get television the normal way, via transponders. Unfortunately Freesat and Sky use their own proprietary EPG so you need different (and very buggy) software to decode that.

    If you have the chance, get a free to air receiver, get a multifeed dish and bast in the glory of foreign television. For example on 19,2° East you'll get German TV which isn't good, but has ZDF.kultur, which often airs concerts. For example they had live coverage of Glastonbury. If you can speak German you might find "Bayrisches FS" interesting. That's Bavarian television, with some programs in the local language. When they are transmitting concerts, they often are in 5.1 surround sound. "arte" is kinda like BBC four, but in German and French, so perhaps not to interesting to the British viewer. is a good introduction if you want to go channelsurfing.

    No matter what you think of a channel, the decision which foreign channels you can watch should be _your_ decision, not the one of Ofcom or whatever regulator.

  14. Furbian


    So it would appear that the BBC who famously refused to screen the Gaza aid appeal (for 1500 Palestinians murdered + the injured + 4000 homes and schools etc. destroyed), because they felt that the Israelis killed during the conflict (3 civilians + 10 soldiers killed, 4 those by the Israelis themselves by friendly fire) weren't getting a fair deal, is not ideologically motivated, but a paragon of virtuous fact based news that we have to pay for in Britain even if don't watch it, under threat of imprisonments (yes it's a fine, followed by jail if you don't pay the fine i.e. TV Licence), unless we stop watching all other TV as well.

    Not forgetting the odd of academic study that turns up once in a while proving it's pro-Israeli bias, one even concluded that they'd convinced much of the UK populace of some rather weird ideas, including one that the Palestinians occupy Israeli lands and that they came from Afghanistan.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Funny, I object to the BBC for pretty much the opposite reason. What's going on here?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Graham Dawson

        "Funny, I object to the BBC for pretty much the opposite reason. What's going on here?"

        I think what's going on here must be that you're a mad Zionist. If, that is, you are seriously suggesting the BBC is biased against Israel.

  15. kerr smith

    Russia Today

    I find myself watching Russia Today far more than the BBC as their news seems to cover an awful lot of things the BBC seems to be ignoring. The protests in the US were hardly mentioned on the BBC but had full coverage on RT.

    I like the way RT has a different perspective on the news and makes you actually think about what is happening in the world - their reports on the banking crisis go far beyond the BBC's 'oh, they did a few things wrong, never mind, forget about it and move on'. They point out that things are still the same as ever and the banks have not changed in the slightest - not something the BBC ever mentions.

    I would definitely recommend a look at RT and, as mentioned above, the Keiser Report will certainly make you look things from a different perspective which is always a good thing.

  16. Mike Flugennock
    Big Brother

    While, in the meantime...

    UK gov mouthpiece BBC remains on the air, as well as US govt mouthpieces NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.

    Fortunately, we get Al Jazeera and Russia Today on the OTA DTV where I live (Washington DC), so we can still find out what's going on in the rest of the world -- and in our own country (which is pretty goddamn' sad when you think about it).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Fortunately, we get Al Jazeera and Russia Today on the OTA DTV where I live (Washington DC), so we can still find out what's going on in the rest of the world -- and in our own country (which is pretty goddamn' sad when you think about it)."

      Ooh, *two* international channels, now that's choice. The "land of the free" offers so much choice. Except that I bet that if you didn't live in the political capital of the country the number that are on broadcast TV would be closer to zero.

      Meanwhile in Fortress Britain several (might be in the tens?) international channels, news and otherwise, successfully broadcast on satellite to millions of homes across the country without falling foul of Ofcom. Probably because they know the rules, are willing to work with Ofcom to sort it out if there are problems, and don't get fined for showing distinctly dodgy footage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And now

      you're probably on a list at the FBI.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PressTV shut down? Who dey?

    Don't affect me.

    I use the BBC and FoxNews for my fair and balanced (TM ?) news sources.

  18. davenewman

    We don't need TV

    when we can always read El Reg.

  19. JeffyPooh

    RT always seems to have the best videos and pictures...

    I assume it's because they're using the MegaUpload business model. Just a hunch...

    The BBC explicitly uses "Credibility Items" (news items faintly critical of the British establishment) to build credibility. It works because they are, in fact, a highly credible news organization. Sort of like always pretending to be nice making you indistinguishable from actually nice. If anything, too much news on BBC.

    No such thing as 'News' in the USA. Plastic people reading garbage and scaring the populace.

    CBC in Canada is horrid. Every radio news item has an ambient sound clip to start. It's such a pervasive policy that it's way past become annoying. CBC thinks having a panel with Hitler and Stalin is "balanced". CBC spends way too much time on opinions, not enough on facts. Somehow, I can't even explain this, they even make crap science shows.

    BBC IOT rules! Except for the adnoids.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      CBC radio news items

      "CBC in Canada is horrid. Every radio news item has an ambient sound clip to start. It's such a pervasive policy that it's way past become annoying."

      NPR does that down here in the States, too. "Atmospherics", I believe they call it. I guess it's supposed to make the item more "compelling" or some shit, but it just annoys the hell out of me.

      Once, I was over at a friend's house where somebody was listening to NPR's "All Things Considered" in the next room when one of those gussied-up reports came on. It sounded like somebody had a TV set on in the next room.

      My wife insists on watching that wretched-assed "Morning Joe" gabfest on MSNBC in the morning, even when there's a half hour of BBC World News on opposite it on the BBC America channel. I remember six or seven years ago, the wife went through a stretch of putting the BBC World News on at 7am (EST) instead; imagine my delight in seeing news reports on actual news about actual issues from around the world, finishing off the program with maybe two whole minutes on the Michael Jackson child-molestation trial. Meanwhile, NBC's "Today Show" spent upwards of fifteen minutes shoveling bullshit about Michael Jackson right at the top of the program -- before any reporting about Iraq, Afghanistan, the economy, or anything else that was actually important in our lives.

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