Belsat TV in 5 minutes: How the first independent TV channel in Belarus works under ban

Belsat TV’s new film features a story of journalists who dreamt of tearing down the remnants of the Wall that one man is maintaining to keep his nation away from Europe.

It shows the obstacles the only Belarusian independent channel has to overcome when organising its work in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, which is situated only 350 km from the eastern border of the EU.

It explains why the Belarusian authorities have denied registration of Belsat TV thrice.

It proves how important the international support is for promoting democracy and freedom of speech.


About Us

Belsat TV is the first independent Belarusian TV channel

Made in Belarus, aired via satellite and online from Poland

Established in 2007 as a joint project of the MFA of Poland and the Polish Public Television TVP

Watched by ca.500 000 citizens of Belarus

Available free of charge on the territory of the entire Belarus, Ukraine and Russia via Astra 4A satellite; and to more than 60% of Belarusian households with access to the internet

Budget: 5,5 mln euro

Prepared by over 100 associates around Belarus and almost 80 editors, managers and technicians in Warsaw. Contributors in Lithuania, Germany, the Czech Republic and Belgium.

Media Environment

Reporters Without Borders rank Belarus as 157/179 on the Press Freedom Index, 2013. The country is on Freedom House’s list of the world’s most repressive countries and territories for 2014.

It is illegal to work in Belarus without an accreditation for a media outlet, registered in a foreign country. It is a considerable obstruction for our journalists.


A daily 3 hrs news and current affairs session, live from the Warsaw studio, on weekdays. Viewers receive a full rundown of the events of the day, up-to-date commentary, reviews of the official and independent media, a review of cultural events, sports news and weather forecast. Belsat also offers a daily dose of current affairs shows, how-to and educational programmes, documentaries and feature reports straight from Belarus.

The program starts daily at 7 am and runs past midnight.

Belsat has made more than 100 documentary films, most of them restoring the true, non-Soviet history of Belarus and exposing the difficulties of today’s Belarus. Belsat’s documentary films have won nearly 40 international awards.


Live transmission plus archive of programs and documentaries

Four language versions (by, ru, pl, eng).

ca. 43.000 unique users per month

The most popular Belarusian YouTube channel with original content with videos watched by hundreds of thousands (4 mln viewed the video of shootings in Kyiv)

Follow us on Facebook, twitter and vk (also in English and Polish). Belsat TV Facebook profile is the most popular TV channel profile in Belarus.


Belsat TV is legally part of the TVP Polish Public Television but its editorial policy is entirely independent.

Belsat TV cooperates with Freedom and Democracy Foundation (PL), and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BY) in its fundraising efforts.

The Advisory Council of Belsat TV, comprised of prominent Belarusian intellectuals, oversees the development of the channel.

See also