The latest study of Belarusian viewership* shows that 12.5 % of Belarus’ adult population watch Belsat TV programs from time to time, which is about 895,000 adults in absolute numbers. 39 % of Belarus’ adult citizens (about 2.8 mln) are aware of Belsat TV’s existence. The sociologists have also fixed our regular audience’s gain.
The number of regular viewers is increasing
It can be stated that 53 % of Belsat TV viewers, i.e. persons watching it daily or some times a week, constitute its regular audience (nearly 500,000 in absolute figures). 34 % of respondents watch our programs some times a month. Compared with 2012 data, weekly and monthly audience increased by 8 % and 4 % respectively.
The channel’s actual audience is almost equally split between satellite television and the internet: 44 % and 43 %, respectively. 13 % of interviewees watch Belsat both via Internet and using a satellite dish. More than half of Belsat viewers (53 %) have visited the channel’s web site www.belsat.eu at least once.
Last September the channel launched Studio Belsat, a three-hour live television broadcast. It became not only a turning point in the channel’s work but new stature for the Belarusian television market: Belarusian state-owned television cannot boast of either news channel or live news programs. According to the survey, 48 % of the channel’s viewers (5.9 % of Belarusian adults) watch the program.
Viewers’ seeing of Belsat TV.
The respondents who declared awareness of Belsat’s existence (39 % of Belarusian adults) were asked to give an estimation to the channel. Belsat turned out to be seen as a channel which is out of step with official Belarusian media (71%). 62 % agreed to the statement that Belsat is an independent channel representing its own views. 55 % consider Belsat TV to be an opposition channel. According to the survey, more than three quarters (76 %) give credence to Belsat programs’ contents, in comparison to the 2012 survey, this figure increasing by 4 %.
The people canvassed might have concealed the fact of viewing Belsat TV taking it as an independent body or a structure being in opposition to the current regime, the interviewers stress.
*The nationwide public opinion poll was conducted by independent sociological center “ZERKALO-INFO” on March 29 – April 17, 2013. The method of the survey consisted in interviewing and questioning Belarusian citizens who are 18 and older. 3000 respondents were interviewed according to the proportional quota sample. Applied variables: area of residence, type of settlement, gender, age, and education. Error margin does not exceed 0.6%.
Belsat TV is a Belarusian-language television channel which came into existence as a reaction to Belarusian democratic forces’ demand. The project is financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Polish Public Television (TVP) and foreign sponsors; its running is provided by Belarusian journalists in cooperation with their Polish colleagues. Belsat’s representatives have to perform their professional duties without being accredited – It is the third time that the Belarusian Foreign Ministry has turned our application down. That is why our contributors are constantly persecuted by the authorities.