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Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi state media collapsed. In June 2004, a Communications and Media Commission was set up to approve and grant licenses for all the country’s media. By 2011, Iraq was main headquarters to 49 free-to-air satellite channels, one of the highest number in the region. Until 2003, satellite dishes were banned, and there were a limited number of national terrestrial stations in the country. After 2003, the sale of satellite dishes surged, and free-to-air channels entered the market.

There are 16 terrestrial channels, of which three are owned by the US-funded state broadcaster Iraqi Media Network. In March 2011, Al Jazeera was granted rights to re-establish operations in the country, after being banned in 2004. There are plans to set up a media free zone based in Baghdad, the Baghdad Media City, which is targeted for completion towards the end of 2014.








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