BUDAPEST — Broadcast authorities in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) have shut down Federal Radio Television’s Sarajevo-based Channel Two, one of three public television stations in the UN-controlled republic.
Federal RTV managers says the channel was axed as part of a seasonal readjustment and the implementation of a summer program schedule. But analysts blame an ailing ad industry and empty public coffers for its demise.
Bosnia’s government has launched an initiative to solve the crisis facing the TV industry. Early this month, BiH High Representative Paddy Ashdown announced that a board would be set up to probe ways to turn around the struggling public TV sector, reportedly losing $500,000 a month. Critics claim the system is controlled by a coterie of corrupt warlords. Bosnian state TV is also facing competition from the private sector. TV Pink, one of neighboring Serbia’s most successful commercial networks, began broadcasting in BiH in June, reaching 85% of the territory through the signals of urban nets Independent TV (in Banja Luka), TV Patria Doboj i TV GLS (Srbac), TV Kometa (Sarajevo) and TV Step (Bijeljina).