Latvian broadcasters are worried about the growing interest of the Latvian audience in media content originating in Russia.
During a conference on the subject of media governance, the Executive Director of the Latvian Association of Broadcasting Organisations, Gunta Līdaka, affirmed that Latvian media outlets are losing their share of the domestic market to the international mass media, with an increasing proportion of Latvian TV viewers showing preference for Russian-made media content.
“Since July, the TV audience started changing its habits and a growing number of spectators have turned to NTV Mir and other Russian channels,” Ms Līdaka commented, despite efforts by public channel TV1 and popular commercial channel TV3 to fight this trend. She highlighted the need to offer content that would appeal to a wide range of age groups.
Sergejs Ņesterovs, a board member for LTV public television, claims that inadequate funding for Latvian public broadcasters lies behind their failure. According to Mr Ņesterovs, funding for Latvian public broadcasters falls far short of the European average. Conversely, board member of Radio SWH Filips Rubenis lays some of the blame at the feet of the broadcasters themselves, arguing that they could work far more efficiently.