This year Romanian public television broadcaster TVR looks set to receive a state budget 7.5 times greater than in 2016, according to draft plans published by the Ministry of Public Finance.
TVR can expect to see its budget increase to RON 950 million ($227 million), while public radio will receive RON 383 million ($91 million) — double its 2016 budget.
Journalist Cătălin Tolontan has drawn attention to the fact that the total budget for national TV and radio would almost equate to the total advertising revenue of all Romania’s media organisations in total, citing figures from the Media Fact Book.
This budget announcement comes shortly before the departure of a significant source of revenue for public television and radio in the form of the radio-TV tax, which will cease to be collected from 1 February. Bearing this imminent change in mind, it is likely that public television will have to pay a large proportion of the money allocated to it to pay its debts to the state, which amount to around 110 million euros ($118 million).
According to Romania Insider, TVR’s total debt stands at 146 million euros ($157 million). Romania was disqualified from last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, after TVR failed to pay debts to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) totalling CHF 16 million (approx. US$16.4 million).
Source: Romania Insider