Development of Private Televisions in Latvia
|Private television channels of Latvia||5|
Television is one of the most powerful mediums that humanity has ever made. Since the stages of developing a regular TV-set has transformed from the exclusive and luxury good to the status of a common necessity. It is owned by almost every household and it plays a significant role in the life of a human being. The expansion and the variety of the content offered by the different television channels has grown so big that it can easily substitute different types of “real-life” entertainment. In every country there are two types of the televisions – public and the private ones. The role of the public televisions is to inform, educate and entertain. Public channels are partly or fully financed by the local government who includes the expenses for the television channel or channels that are accepted in their yearly financial plan. Additional finances are gained by advertising. More business oriented and unaffiliated are the private channels that are owned by organizations and individual share holders. In this case everything is built on pure commerce and channels are competing with each other in order to get as much audience share as possible, because the selling of the advertising is their only source for surviving. This course project will cover information about the development stages of the three main Latvian private television channels – “Latvian Independent Television” (LNT), “TV5 Riga” and “TV3 Latvia” and will give a small report about the small regional televisions located all around the Latvia. The main questions that will be covered are : What has changed since the beginning of the broadcasting of private televisions in Latvia and What can be the future tendencies in development. All three of the television companies have proven themselves as stable channels and able to compete with the public television and the great amount of the different Russian and foreign channels provided via cable or satellite. Each of them has got it’s own development politics and program directing concepts. The main emphasize will be put on the newcomer in the society of Latvian private television area – “TV5 Riga” - the format of it’s programs is unique for the Baltic states. It is specialized on the problems of the Riga city and brings up to date information about everything what is happening. Also it’s the most interactive one. TV5 Riga has got a strong backup and great future plans. The information sources that are used in this paper are from the annual “Baltic Media Book” and the Baltic Data House – Gallup Media databases. The very exclusive one are the data figures about TV5 – it’s just a city channel and it’s difficult to compare statistical data about it with the other channel’s data – they are covering more territory (almost all Latvia area). That is the reason why it is not objective to compare LNT’s and TV3’s data with the TV5 Riga’s data. To solve the problem, the brief descriptions and the history, covered territory and the development in brief of the every channel will be given. Now the another problematic issue appears – Latvia is comparatively small country and the competition is great. Television channels’ departments that are responsible for the public relations and outer advertisement are the least willing to share any information that in their opinion considered as confidential. The situation is not pleasant and the ways to get any useful data is to browse Baltic Data House homepage in the internet and to sit hours in the libraries going through the tons of the old newspapers and magazines. The worst thing in the work process is that even National Latvian Library that has got thousands of books, doesn’t have an annual Baltic Media Book . But work has to be done and televisions are functioning, data public is viewing them and data has to be found in any possible source.
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