Channel 1 was the first national television channel in Iran, and is now the oldest Iranian television channel having been established in 1966. The channel is referred to by some as the National Channel, as most of IRIB's television budget is set aside for this channel.
The channel has a wide range of programming such as children's shows, dramas, major Iranian movies, and talk shows. The channel also has the most watched Iranian news broadcast, and televises the Friday prayers. Channel 1 also televised major sporting events until Channel 3 came along and attained the rights for those broadcasts, as well as a large number of viewers.