Latvian public media need 8.3 million to exit advertising market

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On Monday, June 15, the Saeima Commission on Human Rights and Public Affairs Media Policy Sub-Committee continued to discuss the exit of public media from the advertising market, Latvian Radio reported on June 15.

The legislator has previously determined that public media – Latvian Radio (LR) and Latvian Television (LTV) – are leaving the advertising market with the coming year. However, both media need more than €8 million to compensate for lost revenue, which has not yet been politically promised. If there is no money, the situation may become critical.

If public media completely abandons the advertising market, around 2000 hours of airtime will free up for new original content. Of the nearly €8,334 million requested for compensation, four million would be needed to create new content, while the rest of the money is  needed for copyright and tax payments as well as for technology, as calculated by the National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP).

The amount of EUR 8,344 million requested by the Council needs an additional EUR 2.204 million for non-advertising work and EUR 6.14 for LTV next year. Radio plans to spend around half a million on content.

LTV plans to replace advertising time with original content: strengthen news broadcasts, increase analytical and educational content. There will also be new series, a variety of sports, cultural and entertainment broadcasts; all of this will have to be paid for. Clarity is needed by the end of June. At the moment, television can only plan to build its own content, but, for example, independent producers cannot be promised anything.

Public media underline that clarity on compensation should be in place, since, first of all, the creation of a new original content sometimes needs at least half a year before it is transmitted on the air. Secondly, it is necessary to know and take action in good time to conclude future contracts with independent producers on their content and to break their relationship with advertisers.

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