Television in Bahrain began in 1973, broadcasting five-hours per day. There are seven free-to-air channels, four of which are privately owned. The country's public service broadcaster, Bahrain Radio and Television Corporation, broadcasts the popular Channel 44; around 35-40% of its output is locally produced.
Bahrain historically hosted a number of pan-Arab broadcasters, such as Orbit before the OSN merger, and the MBC2 channel. It also hosts the Alarab News Channel funded by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal that covers political, economic and social issues related to the Arab region.
Free satellite is the dominant television platform, representing 51% of Bahraini households. The country has a relatively high pay-TV penetration, estimated at 51% in 2011. The three main pay-TV operators are OSN, ART and Al Jazeera Sports.