Pubcaster Slovak TV under ‘Pokemon’ fire

Toon violence, negative psychological effects cited

PRAGUE — Parents, psychologists and the Slovak media council are up in arms over the debut of “Pokemon” on pubcaster Slovak TV.

Complaining of the negative psychological effects and the level of violence on the animated show, the council could exercise its right to ban the program for 30 days.

For the financially pinched STV, that could spell disaster. The station reportedly bought the rights to the series for 13 million Slovak crowns ($275,000). It has had problems paying for programs in the past; STV allegedly owes one company nearly $1 million for purchases dating back more than three years.

The anti-“Pokemon” contingent is asking how the program could have ended up on the pubcaster. A commercial channel could air the show without council interference.

In its defense, STV says it wanted to offer a show that reflects the contemporary state of kidvid worldwide, one that is markedly different from the gentler animation that comes out of Slovak studios.

Slovak kids want their “Pokemon” twice a week.

“They are hypnotized,” said one industry insider — which is exactly what worries the council.

Merchandise for the show is pushing tyke purchasing power in the economically reawakening country.

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