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Belarusian TV channels encouraged to rely on national platform

President 10.04.2018 | 15:04

MINSK, 10 April (BelTA) – Belarusian TV channels should broadcast using their own platform instead of relying heavily on foreign content. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with representatives of the country's largest state-run mass media on 10 April, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko said: “These platforms should be Belarusian. It doesn't mean we have a grudge against [Director General of the Russian TV Channel One Konstantin] Ernst. Not at all. He is a normal, creative, and good person. But we need our own content.”

As an example the head of state referred to Russian TV series. In his words, the quality of many of them is not so good yet Belarusian TV channels choose to broadcast them. Alexander Lukashenko is convinced that Belarusian TV channels and movie directors are capable of producing good TV series and replacing the Russian ones on the air.

According to Marat Markov, head of ZAO Second National Channel (the ONT TV channel), the share of Belarusian content in ONT's broadcasts stands at 46%. Russian content represents the rest. “Increasing the share of our own content by simply 1% will require roughly $130,000 in extra funding within a year,” he stated.

Marat Markov noted that it is impossible to increase resources in one go in order to broadcast only genuine Belarusian content. He suggested that sponsors may help Belarusian TV channels make the transition. “We will be able to use the money to develop today's insufficient base. At the moment we lack both manpower and technical resources. Such a practice exists,” said the ONT TV channel head.

The president promised that support would be provided to Belarusian TV channels in this regard. “I am ready to support mass media where it is necessary,” he said.

The Belarusian TV channels ONT and STV rely heavily on the Russian TV channels Channel One and RenTV respectively. Shareholders of ZAO Second National Channel include the Information Ministry, Belarusbank, and the company Information Technologies Factory. The Belarusian TV channel STV is run by ZAO Stolichnoye Televideniye. Its shareholders are the Information Ministry, the Minsk city administration, the Minsk Oblast administration, and the cable television and Internet access provider Cosmos TV.

ZAO Stolichnoye Televideniye also acts as a founder of the TV channel RTR Belarus, which relies heavily on the RTR Planeta platform.

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