TS News - NTV To Broadcast Round The Clock, Drops Satellite Plans

TELE-satellit News, 28 September 1996

NTV To Broadcast Round The Clock, Drops Satellite Plans
  MOSCOW, Russia, 96/09/28 (OMRI) -- Yeltsin signed a decree giving NTV the
right to broadcast 24 hours a day on Russia's eighth television channel, NTV
and ITAR-TASS reported on 20 September. The network had previously only been
able to broadcast for eight hours a day, beginning at 6 p.m., on the fourth

  The move is the latest sign of friendlier relations between the
authorities and NTV, which has long sought full-time broadcasting
privileges. The network drew sharp criticism from some officials in 1994 and
1995, particularly for its bold coverage of the Chechnya conflict.

  This year NTV's president joined Yeltsin's campaign committee, and the
network strongly supported Yeltsin's re-election effort, although since July
its news coverage has become somewhat more independent. In June the gas
monopoly Gazprom, which has close ties to the government, purchased a 30%
share in the network.

  NTV president Igor Malashenko told Izvestiya that news will remain a
priority when his network begins broadcasting around the clock in November
or December, the paper reported on 25 September. NTV will run news updates
several times a day and will extend the length of its current 10 p.m. news
program from 30 minutes to one hour.

  Malashenko said NTV will retain some cultural and educational programming
produced by the state-run Russian TV company, with which it has up to now
shared broadcasting privileges on the fourth channel.

  Meanwhile, NTV has dropped plans to launch an all-news
satellite channel later this year, Kommersant-Daily reported on 24
September. Four other satellite channels will go ahead, devoted to sports,
Russian films, foreign films, and children's programming (plans for an
all-music channel were also dropped).

  By: Laura Belin
  Source: OMRI, This material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media
          Research Institute, a nonprofit organization with research offices in
          Prague, Czech Republic. For more information on OMRI publications,
          please write to:  info@omri.cz

(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

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