Eutelsat and Intelsat are being given permission by the USA State Department to carry Iranian satellite channels. The two satellite operators were previously barred from carrying the channels in 2012, and the Iranians quickly reorganised their broadcasting with Russian and Middle East broadcasters picking up the contracts.
Now the State Department says Eutelsat and Intelsat can attempt to win the business back, and has granted another 6-month “waiver” (the first was granted in February) to resume Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) transmissions. The penalties were applied because of widespread signal jamming of services such as Voice of America and BBC Persian TV (in Farsi). Eutelsat now says that the jamming problems have been significantly reduced over recent months.
The financial losses to both operators are said to be modest, and Intelsat’s spokeswoman Dianne VanBeber told the Wall Street Journal that the lost business had still not returned to its previous state.