No privatizing for Slovak TV

PRAGUE — Slovak Television has been given a second “no” vote on the privatization of public channel STV2. Now it’s seeking a new way to turn over its operation to commercial broadcasting hopeful PRO-TV.

Sources said STV wants to lease STV2 (its second terrestrial channel) to PRO-TV, a group of ex-STV managers and allies of ruling party HZDS.

STV is also said to have a co-production agreement with PRO-TV, which is to go into effect Dec. 28, and covers the period through 2003.

The proposal is being met with protests in parliament, where deputy director Milan Ftacnik, of the opposition party SDL, wants the audiovisual law rewritten so that public TV cannot be leased to a private party.

In the meantime, the financial situation of STV remains unclear. The National Council of Radio & Television delayed passing a proposed budget of SK295 million (just under $10 million) at its late-November meeting.

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