PRAGUE — The Czech Republic saw the launch of a third commercial channel, TV3, last week. The new station took over the frequencies of regional station Galaxie, which ceased broadcasting earlier in the week, reportedly sinking under financial difficulties in its effort to attract advertisers.
New station’s investors include Peter Gerwe, an American with television interests in Russia and the Ukraine.
TV3 reaches an estimated one-third of Czech viewers, but according to the Broadcasting Council, the station should reach 50% of viewers by the end of 2000 and 75% by the end of 2001.
Galaxie began as a regional station in the eastern part of the country, winning a coveted signal in Prague in its efforts to become a national channel.
TV3, dubbing itself “Television for the new millennium,” will specialize in breaking regional news (covered by a team of roving reporters on motorbikes), along with a standard commercial TV diet of entertainment programs. Its opening night, however, was interrupted by technical glitches.