Fed TV cracks down on cablers

Dispatch - Bosnia-Herzegovina

BUDAPEST — Bosnia’s public broadcaster Federal Television is accusing local cablers of picking up unlicensed programs from Croatia, Serbia and elsewhere in the region — and illegally distributing them in the U.N.-controlled Bosnia-Herzegovina.

But Bosnia’s Assn. of Cable Operators says Fed TV is playing politics, and that sticking to the law would prevent Bosnian Croats from seeing popular programs beamed in from Croatian Television and TV Nova Zagreb.

The federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed in 1992 in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. But Bosnian Croats living in western Herzegovina have been locked in a battle with federal broadcast authorities for years, steadfastly refusing to pay the public broadcaster’s licensing fees. Authorities estimate that only 5% of the public in the area pays up.

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