Bhutan profile - Media

  • 6 February 2015
  • From the section Asia
Bhutanese cameraman on location
Image caption TV came late to Bhutan

Television did not come to Bhutan until 1999. For years, the country cut itself off, fearing that outside influences would undermine its monarchy and culture.

Radio broadcasting began in 1973 and the internet arrived in 1999.

Media freedom is restricted. Reporters Without Borders says the monarchy "makes few allowances for pluralist news". A security law prohibits criticism of the king.

State-funded BBS is the only TV station to broadcast from Bhutanese soil. But cable TV thrives, with rival services offering dozens of Indian and international channels.

Private media face economic challenges, particularly because they tend to depend on advertising revenue from state bodies, says Freedom House.

There were nearly 212,000 internet users by 2014 (

The press