By Vladimir Khromov
“Everyone — you and other channels supported from the state budget, need to understand that, next year, funding will be reduced considerably. This is not because the state budget has run out of money but because you are an enterprise and should make yourself profitable,” stresses the President.
“I’d like to warn you that we’re going to reform all structures which receive state budgetary funds, as there are so many, including the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company. I want to see a 25-30 percent reduction and more effectiveness,” notes the Head of State. “Modernisation and reformation are vital to all, including your enterprise.”
Mr. Lukashenko believes that reform is needed in many areas and all structures, in both the production sector and ideology. He sees the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company as an enterprise like any other which receives some funding from the state budget; it must earn part of its funding independently.”
“As far as I know, ONT TV Channel receives little or nothing from state budgetary funds but is as popular as your channel,” notes Mr. Lukashenko. “I like your channel more in some respects, as you do some things better, but this is a matter of taste. I’m not here to judge. That will be the job of an appraisal body which we plan to set up to provide objective feedback.”
Speaking about international TV broadcasting, Mr. Davydko asserts that, at present, this is undertaken by Belarus-TV Channel via three satellites, allowing viewing across Europe and North Africa. It’s thought that TV viewers number around 220 million and Mr. Lukashenko hopes to see this figure grow in future, as the quality of programming is improved.