The head of Nessuna TV appeared in court in Tunis on charges of "undermining sacred values, undermining decent standards and causing trouble to public order" through airing an anti-Iranian and anti-Islamic animation.
The case, which has been brought against Nabil Karoui and two of his employees by 140 lawyers, follows the broadcast by his private TV station of the film Persepolis on 7 October.
The animated film, based on Marjane Satrapi's novel about the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, offended many Muslims and Iran-lovers, but one of its scenes desecrates a top value of all divine religions as it depicts God as an old man with a beard.
Karoui apologized for the scene, but anger at its transmission erupted into street demonstrations in the Tunisian capital last month.
"I feel an immense sadness because the people who wanted to destroy the channel are free and I am here because I broadcast a film," Karoui said on arrival in court.
He told AFP that he will plead not guilty to the charges. The hearing, in a packed Tunis courtroom on 17 November, was adjourned after an hour's debate. Some lawyers argued the proceedings should be broadcast.
The case will resume in Tunis on 23 January 2012.