16 years with Belsat: from Belarusian satellite television to an international multi-media platform

Belsat started its official broadcasting via satellite on December 10, 2007, with just a few hours of programming per day. However, over the course of 16 years, Belsat has grown into a versatile medium. Besides satellite and cable networks in several countries, the station now reaches viewers through portals, profiles, and channels on social networks in five languages: Belarusian, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, and English.

The annual report of Belsat presents impressive numbers: More than a thousand hours of live programming, half a billion views on YouTube, and one million subscribers on the most popular channel, the Russian-language “Vot Tak”. 

Director of Belsat Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, December 8, 2023. Warsaw Poland. Photo Karina Pashko/Belsat

Belsat, a media outlet with a freedom and democratic mission, collected over half a million euros for Belarusian political prisoners during the “Solidarity Marathon” broadcast.

The station has produced several award-winning documentaries that were showcased at international festivals. In 2023, Belsat made its first original fiction series, “Processes,” which portrays the political repression situation in Belarus in a distorted mirror. On Belsat’s birthday, the station invited its viewers to watch the show on the big screen in the very center of Warsaw – the controversial Palace of Culture and Science.

Deputy Director of Belsat Aliaksei Dzikavitski speaking on December 8, 2023. Warsaw Poland. Photo Karina Pashko/Belsat

Also last weekend, as part of the anniversary celebrations, a meeting for Belsat employees was held, during which awards were given to the most distinguished journalists and the best television and internet productions.

Belsat the anniversary celebration meeting, December 8, 2023. Warsaw Poland. Photo Karina Pashko/Belsat

Journalists working in Belarus and Russia face significant risks while performing their duties. Out of 1,500 political prisoners in Belarus, thirteen have worked with Belsat at different times. This group constitutes one-third of all media workers currently imprisoned in Belarus. They are serving prison sentences ranging from four to eight years.


Translated by PEV