International Radio and Television Organisation

The International Radio and Television Organisation (official name in French: Organisation Internationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision or OIRT (before 1960 International Broadcasting Organization (IBO), official name in French: Organisation Internationale de Radiodiffusion (OIR)) was an East European network of radio and television broadcasters with the primary purpose of establishing ties and securing an interchange of information between those various organizations responsible for broadcasting services, promoting the interests of broadcasting, seeking by international cooperation a solution to any matter relating to broadcasting, and studying and working out all measures having as their aim the development of broadcasting.

International Radio and Television Organisation
Organisation Internationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision
Merged intoEuropean Broadcasting Union
Established28 June 1946 (1946-06-28)
Dissolved1 January 1993 (1993-01-01)
TypeUnion of broadcasting organisations
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium (1946–1950)
Prague, Czechoslovakia (1950–1993)


Without British participation, 26 members founded the OIR on 28 June 1946. The next day, at the General Assembly of the International Broadcasting Union (IBU), an attempt was made to dissolve this body, but the motion failed to obtain the required majority. However, 18 of the 28 existing members left the IBU and become co-founders of the new OIR.[1]

In 1946, the newly created OIR installed itself in the IBU building in Brussels. Technical activity was taken up again under the authority of two directors, one delegated by the Soviet Union and the other by France. However, the political situation gradually degraded into the Cold War and this created an uneasy situation of distrust within the staff of the Technical Centre.[1]

In 1950 some members (mostly western European) left the organization to form the new European Broadcasting Union (EBU), among them Belgium, Egypt, France, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Tunisia and Yugoslavia.[1]

Broadcasting organizations from the following countries remained members: Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Finland (also a member of EBU), East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Syria and the Soviet Union.

As a consequence, the OIR headquarters and its Technical Centre was relocated from Brussels to Prague in 1950.[2][3] Staff members from Belgium and other Western countries, some of whom had already been active before the war, stayed on in Brussels and the centre became the technical centre of the new EBU.

Unlike the EBU, the OIRT was not limited to European and Mediterranean countries and operated as a global organization. Members of the organization included countries aligned with the Eastern bloc, such as Cuba, Vietnam, the People's Republic of China and North Korea (although the latter's membership was temporarily inactive after their break with the USSR), as well as the allies of the USSR that were temporarily led by communist parties, such as Nicaragua and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, and the African and Middle Eastern states having been temporarily associated or supported by the socialist camp.

On January 1, 1993, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the OIRT merged with the European Broadcasting Union and all European OIRT memberships were transferred to the EBU.[3][4] In 2022, Russia got banned from EBU.


One of several logos used by the Intervision Network. This one comes from the Soviet Union.

The television network of OIRT was established in 1960 and was called Intervision[5] (Russian Интервидение, German Intervision, Bulgarian Интервизия, Polish Interwizja, Czech Intervize, Slovak Intervízia, Hungarian Intervízió, Romanian Interviziune, Finnish Intervisio).

Between 1977 and 1980 the OIRT organised four Intervision Song Contests in Sopot, Poland, in an attempt to imitate the Eurovision Song Contest.

History of membersEdit

Country Organism Abbreviation Date of joining Date of exit
  Afghanistan Radio Television Afghanistan RTA 1978 1992
  Albania Radio Televizioni Shqiptar RTSH 1946 1961
  Algeria Radiodiffusion télévision algérienne RTA 1962 1970
  Belgium Institut national de radiodiffusion INR 1946 1950
Nationaal Instituut voor de Radio-omroep NIR 1946 1950
  Belarus Bielaruśkaja Tele-Radio Kampanija BTRC 1991 1992
  Bulgaria Bălgarsko Nationalno Radio BNR 1946 1992
Bălgarska Nationalna Televizija BNT 1959 1992
  China Radio Peking RP 1952 1961
Beijing Television BTV 1958 1961
  Cuba Instituto Cubano de Radio y Televisión ICRT 1962 1992
  East Germany Rundfunk der DDR DDR 1951 1990
Deutscher Fernsehfunk DFF 1952 1990
  Egypt Egyptian Radio and Television Union ERTU 1946 1950
  Estonia Eesti Raadio ER 1991 1992
Eesti Televisioon ETV 1991 1992
  Finland Yleisradio Oy Yle 1946 1992
  France Radiodiffusion française
Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française
RDF / RTF 1946 1950
  Hungary Magyar Rádió HU 1946 1992
Magyar Televízió MTV 1952 1992
  Italy RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana RAI 1946 1950
  Latvia Latvijas Radio LR 1991 1992
Latvijas Televīzija LTV 1991 1993
  Lebanon Télé Liban TL 1946 1950
  Lithuania Lietuvos Radijas ir Televizija LRT 1991 1992
  Luxembourg Compagnie luxembourgeoise de radiodiffusion CLR 1946 1950
  Morocco Société Nationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision SNRT 1946 1950
  Moldova TeleRadio-Moldova TRM 1991 1992
  Monaco Radio Monte Carlo RMC 1946 1950
  Nicaragua Sistema Sandinista de Televisión SSTV 1984 1990
  Netherlands Nederlandse Radio Unie NRU 1946 1950
  North Korea Korean Central Broadcasting Committee KCBC 1953 1992
  Poland Polskie Radio PR 1946 1992
Telewizja Polska TVP 1952 1992
  Romania Societatea Română de Radiodifuziune ROR 1946 1992
Televiziunea Română TVR 1956 1992
  Russia Radio Dom Ostankino :
- Radio Mayak (MK)
- Radio Orpheus (OP)
- Voice of Russia (VOR)
RDO 1991 1992
Kanal Ostankino C1 1991 1992
RossijskoeTeleradio RTR 1991 1992
  Syria Organisme de la Radio-Télévision Arabe Syrienne ORTAS 1946 1992
  Soviet Union Vsesoyuznoye radio 1946 1991
Tsentral'noye televideniye SSSR TsT SSSR 1946 1991
  Czechoslovakia Československý rozhlas ČSR 1946 1992
Československá televize ČST 1957 1992
  Tunisia Radio Tunis RT 1946 1950
  Ukraine Natsionalna Radiokompanya Ukraïny NRU 1991 1992
Natsionalna Telekompaniya Ukraïny NTU 1991 1992
  Vietnam Voice of Vietnam VOV 1956 1992
Vietnam Television VTV 1976 1992
  South Yemen Aden Radio 1971 1990
Yemen TV 1971 1990
  Yugoslavia Jugoslovenska Radio-Televizija JRT 1946 1950

Associated membersEdit

Country Organism Abbreviation Date of joining Date of withdraw
  West Germany Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ARD 1988 1992
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen ZDF 1988 1992
  Mongolia Mongolian National Broadcaster MNB 1967 1992


  1. ^ a b c "EBU 50th Anniversary" (PDF). Difussion EBU. Geneva: European Broadcasting Union. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 20, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Lewis, David (January 20, 2012). "The Situation of Public Broadcasting in Europe" (PDF). Geneva: European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 12, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2017. The EBU was founded in 1950 and initially drew its membership largely from western Europe, while a rival sister organization based in Prague, the OIRT, served the state broadcasters under Soviet domination the other side of the Iron Curtain.
  3. ^ a b Central and Eastern Europe: Audiovisual landscape and copyright legislation. Audiovisual Eureka and European Audiovisual Observatory. 1994. ISBN 978-9-0621-5459-3. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "50 years of Eurovision" (PDF). EBU Dossiers. Geneva: European Broadcasting Union. January 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 29, 2005. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  5. ^ Paulu, Burton (1967). "Programs: information". Radio and Television Broadcasting on the European Continent. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 141. ISBN 9780816660469. OCLC 321366. Retrieved July 24, 2017.

External linksEdit