Television in Lebanon arose as a private initiative and not a state-institution. Lebanon, along with Iraq, was the first country in the Arab world to have indigenous television broadcasting. Various Arab televisions emulated the Lebanese model. There are two significant television platforms in Lebanon: analogue terrestrial (14% of households) and free satellite (83% of households). There is also a relatively high penetration of cable television, but because of the high prevalence of cable theft the official penetration rate is low, at less than 5%. More than 90% of Lebanese households have access to satellite television.
There are 22 free-to-air satellite channels headquartered in Lebanon. There is one government-owned television channel, Tele Liban, which was established in 1957. Several TV channels are politically affiliated, and political parties are an important source of funding. LBC, was launched in 1985, was the first private network in Lebanon. Some other Lebanese channels include MTV Al Lubnaniya, Future TV, Al Manar TV, NBN, Al Jadeed TV and Orange TV. Domestic channels, in particular LBC, have historically been the most popular, as opposed to most other Arab countries where pan-Arab channels dominate. Despite that, large pan-Arab broadcasters, and in particular MBC channels, have proven popular with satellite viewers.