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Iran International TV Most Popular News Channel In Iran, Poll Shows

A poll conducted by Gamaan polling agency in the Netherlands says Iran International TV and Manoto TV, both based in London, are by far the most popular media outlets in Iran.

According to a poll conducted between February 17 to 26 with a representative sample of over 27,000 individuals, 92 percent of those who took part said they get their news and information about Iran and the world from social media, 41% from satellite television stations, 32% from news websites and 14% from the Iranian state television on a daily basis.

Some 60 percent of those contacted said they never watch the news on the Iranian state-run television, the agency said, adding that generalization of the results of the survey to the general public are valid by a 95% coefficient. 

Those taking part in the survey were literate Iranians over 19 years of age, representative of 85 percent of the adult population in Iran.

According to the findings, 33% respondents in the poll said they watch the Iran International TV on a daily basis. This makes the network the most popular Persian speaking foreign based news channel in Iran.

Next on the popularity ladder were Manoto TV with 30%, BBC Persian TV with 17%, both London-Based, as well as Jam TV, based in Turkey, with 16.5%, followed by the Iranian state TV at 16 percent, the Washington-based VOA TV also known as PNN with 11 percent popularity.

Ratings table for Persian TV stations. April 2, 2021

Independent polling, with transparent information allowed to be published, does not exist in Iran and citizens who are wary of security services would be extremely reluctant to reveal their true opinions when asked sensitive political questions.

More than half of the sample population said that they trust the news on Iran International and Manoto TV  "very much" or "to some extent". This comes while the BBC Persian was trusted  by 27 percent and the Iranian state TV by 14 percent of the sample population. Meanwhile, some 74 percent said that they do not trust the Iranian state television "at all."

Those taking part in the survey were asked what did they think about the political affiliation of the foreign-based TV networks. Some 63% said they believe the Iranian state television was close to Principlists (hardline conservatives). Some 50% said they believe Manoto, VOA and Iran International were leaning toward the Iranian opposition.

Iran International studios in London. File photo

Some 30% said they believe the BBC Persian was inclined toward reformists while another 22 percent said the channel was leaning toward the opposition groups. Only 17% said the channel politically leaned toward principlists.

According to the findings of the survey, the most popular programs on the Iranian state television channels were movies, TV series and athletic events.

The most popular programs on the Iran International TV were the talk show Cheshmandaz (Panorama), and the Titr-e Awal (First Headline), a 30-minute quick-paced news bulletin.

The news bulletins 60 Minutes on BBC Persian and The Newsroom on Manoto TV and the chat show Last Page on the VOA Persian were also popular among their viewers.

Those taking part in the survey said that documentary series on all channels were also among their favorites.

Some 53 percent of the sample population said regime change should be part of any political transition in Iran while 13% wanted the principles and values of the Islamic revolution to survive. Another 8 percent wanted gradual reforms within the frameworks of  the Islamic Republic system.

Meanwhile, based on the findings of the survey 78% of the sample population said they will not take part in the upcoming presidential election. Some 12% will certainly vote and 10% are still undecided.

Gamaan polling agency that conducted this survey is a private non-profit organization and has declared that the survey has had no financial sponsors.

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