TV is still the most prominent medium for news in Lebanon. The country witnessed the creation of the first television station in the Middle East in 1959 under the name “Compagnie libanaise de télévision,” which later became Télé Liban. After the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Law No. 382 of 1994, several private stations were granted licenses and Télé Liban’s monopoly over broadcasting ended.
There are now 22 free-to-air television channels in Lebanon, all of them are now broadcasting via satellite, and all nine TV channels covered in the project are politically affiliated, and political parties remain an important source of funding. Out of nine local TV stations, only one is state-owned (Télé Liban), while the eight others are in the hands of at least ten prominent Lebanese families (LBCI, MTV, Future TV, NBN, Al Jadeed, OTV, Télé Lumière/Noursat) and one political party (Al-Manar). At least two TV stations were shut down temporarily because of their opposition to the authorities: Al Jadeed in 1997 and MTV in 2002.
As it had become apparent for many years that each sectarian group had its own television network broadcasting to a specific target group, this trend gradually spread to online media sources, online newspapers, social media news accounts, and political social media accounts.