Iran’s state broadcaster has transmitted an interview with the country’s police commander warning companies, businesses and private individuals that they must not advertise on “foreign satellite TV networks”.
Officially, watching satellite TV in Iran is illegal and dishes and receiving equipment can be – and often is – confiscated. However, a growing number of channels are broadcasting in Farsi. MBC Persia is but one, and the BBC’s Persian service is frequently jammed. Nevertheless a growing number of channels, Arab-based and international, are targeting Farsi viewers in Iran, Afghanistan, the UAE and neighbouring countries. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is in a j-v with Abu Dhabi Media and is backing a National Geographic Farsi-language version which started transmissions last month from Abu Dhabi.
Nat-Geo Farsi’s advertising is sold via Dubai’s Broadcast Middle East. BME’s CEO is Zaid Mohseni, who told Abu Dhabi’s ‘The National’ newspaper that Iran’s total advertising market is expected to double to $1 billion over the next few years.