The following three new Iraqi satellite television channels were observed on 28 November:
Afaq Satellite Channel
Afaq [Horizons] satellite channel, a new Iraqi television channel, has started transmission via the Atlantic Bird 4 satellite located at 7 degrees west and the Eutelsat W6 satellite, located at 21 degrees east.
Between 1400 and 1900 gmt on 28 November, the television has been observed to carry a wide variety of programmes that include newscasts, documentaries, cultural and scientific programmes, religious programmes, talks shows, and family-oriented programmes.
The channel's website, available at www.afaqtv.com, has five sections: Latest News, Political News, Economic News, Sports News, Science and Technology News. No exclusive reports have been observed on the website.
Afaq television transmits via the Atlantic Bird 4 satellite on the following transponder:
Symbol rate: 27500
It also transmits via the Eutelsat W6 satellite on the ! following transponder:
Symbol rate: 2857
Al-Ahd Satellite Channel
Al-Ahd [covenant] satellite channel, another new Iraqi television, has started test transmission via the Atlantic Bird 4 satellite and the Eutelsat W6 satellite. The channel, which is affiliated with Al-Sadr trend, describes itself as a channel for "all Iraq" and adopts the motto of "no to sectarianism, no to the occupier, and no to racism."
At 1653 gmt on 28 November, Al-Ahd was observed to carry short interviews with Iraqi ministers, members of the Council of Representatives, and other low-level officials on the launch of the channel.
Most of those interviewed voiced their support for the presence of "free and independent television channels" that serve all components of the Iraqi people away from sectarianism and serving foreign parties.
Among those interviewed is Abbas al-Bayyati, member of the Unified Iraqi Coalition, who said: "We assert that the presence of free and independent media is the most important! aspect of supporting the democratic process, which would not succeed without the presence of free and honest media."
Falah Shunayshil, member of Al-Sadrist bloc, said: "We congratulate Al-Ahd satellite channel and wish it success, God willing. We hope that it will present facts in an objective and unbiased manner." He added:
"We, the Iraqi people, are happy and pleased to have a satellite channel like Al-Ahd, which adopts the motto of "no to the occupation forces, no to racism, and no to sectarianism."
Riyad Gharib, minister of public works and municipalities, said: "We hope that this satellite channel will play its positive role in presenting the positive activities of all groups, parties, and institutions so that it would not be, God forbid, a satellite channel that creates problems or causes disorder among the Iraqi people. Second, we hope that it will give attention to projects that promote unity among the people and create an appropriate environment.! "
This is followed by a short video commentary entitled "Every D ay's Story," which talks about the suffering of the residents of Al-Sadr City, the city of the poor, under the Saddam regime and their suffering at the hands of the "US occupation forces" and their practices.
TV programmes on this channel are repeated several times during the day.
Al-Ahd television transmits via the Atlantic Bird 4 satellite on the following transponder:
Symbol rate: 27500
It also transmits via the Eutelsat W6 satellite on the following transponder:
Symbol rate: 2532
Dijlah Satellite Channel
Dijlah [Tigris] satellite channel, another new Iraqi television, has also been observed to start test transmission via the Atlantic Bird 4 satellite.
Between 1400 gmt and 1900 gmt on 28 November, the television has been observed to only carry Iraqi songs and promos for its upcoming programmes. No newscasts or political talk shows have thus far been observed on the channel.
The television has a website at www.dijla-tv.com, but it is still under construction.
Dijlah television transmits via the Atlantic Bird 4 satellite on the following transponder:
Symbol rate: 27500
Source: BBC Monitoring research 28 Nov 07