Ukraine to create new unified public broadcaster
Ukraine is planning to merge state-backed broadcasters National Television Company of Ukraine, National Radio Company of Ukraine and Kultura to create a single National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (NPBU).
According to the draft law on public service broadcasting, the new entity will based on delivering comprehensive and objective information adherence to “the social norms, traditions and culture” of the Ukrainian people, a clear “separation of facts from comment and evaluations”, free expression of views, independence from state authorities and public participation in programming policy.
The pubcaster will also be charged with promoting the consolidation of Ukrainian society and promoting the development of Ukrainian language and culture as well as ethnic minorities’ languages and culture.
NPBU will deliver two nationwide TV channels and two nationwide radio services. According to the draft law, the service will be funded from the state budget for four years, after which it could be financed via a subscription fee, the sale of programming rights, voluntary contribution, by state order to a maximum of 20% of the budget and by “other revenues”.
In a recent interview, National Television Company of Ukraine director Yegor Benkendorf said public broadcasting could “raise the intellectual level of Ukrainian citizens” and provide programming that was not being delivered by commercial channels.
Benkendorf said that one funding possibility was to secure an agreement with commercial players whereby the latter would give NPBU 10% of their advertising revenues in exchange for the non-participation of the pubcaster in the advertising market.