Russian-language TV station to close

Latvia-based independent television channel TV5 is to cease broadasting at the end of March, the station announced Friday.

Ginta Bormane, a spokeswoman for owners MTG TV Latvia said that the Russian-language market in Latvia was saturated and production costs made it impossible to compete without receiving subsidies for the creation of original content rather than re-broadcasts of shows made in Russia itself.

The channel had been working at a loss for a long time, she said.

“For 15 years, TV5 has been producing high-quality informative and news content – we highly value the hard work by all the TV5 team. It is a painful decision to close down the channel, long-term collaboration with highly professional colleagues has come to an end, and resources invested in the development and maintenance of the channel are forfeit. However, this decision was unavoidable to reduce the losses of AS LNT,” said TV presenter Baiba Zūzena, referring to the company's popular Latvian-language channel LNT.

Negotiations with employees about lay-off conditions are ongoing, the company said.

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