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Television in Qatar is very much state-influenced and operated. Official Qatar TV began producing and transmitting its own programmes in 1970, with colour transmission since 1974. It had a monopoly on television audience until 1993, when Qatar Cablevision began broadcasting satellite channels. Since then, four other platforms went on air: ART/1st NET, Orbit, Star Select and Gulf DTH/Showtime. Despite the broadening of television offerings, Qatar TV remains popular among Qataris.[1]

As of 2009, the state owns and operates all broadcast media, and there are only two television networks in the country: Qatar TV and Al Jazeera. Qatar TV broadcasts mostly official news from a pro-government perspective, while Al Jazeera focuses its coverage on international and regional topics. [2]

Penetration of pay-TV is significantly high at close to 83% in 2011. There are 15 free-to-air channels headquartered in Qatar, of which 13 are state-owned. The state-run Qatar General Broadcasting and Television Corporation operates two domestic channels and the Qatar Satellite channel. Most prominent channels include those related to the Al Jazeera Media Network.[3]


  1. ^ Tourya Guaaybess (2013-01-11). National Broadcasting and State Policy in Arab Countries. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1899–1900. ISBN 978-1-137-25765-9. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  2. ^ "Qatar Media Sustainability Index 2009" (PDF). IREX. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Arab Media Outlook 2011-2015" (PDF). 2012. p. 204.