Press TV broadcast licence revoked by Ofcom
Ofcom has announced that it has revoked the Licence of Press TV after the station failed to comply with broadcasting regulations in the UK.
Last year, Ofcom invoked sanctions against Press TV following an interview it was to found to have obtained under duress from journalist Maziar Bahari while a prison in Iran.
Ofcom found the channel to be in serious breach of the Broadcasting code and fined the station £100,000.
It was discovered during the course of the sanction hearing however that the licensee, although a limited company based in London, made representations that suggested its editorial control rested with Tehran based Press TV International.
According to broadcasting rules, the licence should be held by the person in control of the TV service, the same person who chooses the programmes to be broadcast and organises it scheduling.
“Ofcom gave Press TV Limited the opportunity to apply to have its operations in Tehran correctly licensed by Ofcom and Ofcom offered to assist it to do so. Press TV Limited was given the opportunity to make representations on Ofcom’s “minded to revoke” letter. Press TV Limited has failed to make the necessary application and Ofcom has therefore revoked Press TV’s licence to broadcast in the UK,” Ofcom explained.
The channel is scheduled to be removed from Sky by 20 January.
Meanwhile it is understood that Press TV has indicated that it is unwilling and unable to pay the £100,000 Ofcom fine which will be pursued as a separate matter.