The four-year efforts of the official Kyiv to launch the retransmission of the Ukrainian TV channel in Belarus were a success. The UATV channel has been registered for broadcast, and some cable operators are already broadcasting it, but there is still a lot of work ahead needed for Belarusian viewers to learn about the channel.
“The most difficult thing is to take the first step. And I am very pleased that this step was successful. Many of us, especially journalists, understand how important this is for understanding what is happening in Ukraine now. All information that entered the Belarusian media space was perceived through the prism of the war with Russia. Much was presented in a distorted form via Solovyov style programs. I am very pleased that the Belarusian TV viewers have the opportunity to have alternative information about events in Ukraine, ”said Ukrainian Ambassador Igor Kizim.
Lyudmila Berezovskaya, Director of the UATV TV Channel, Artem Bidenko, State Secretary of the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine, and Uladzimir Ryabavalau, Head of the Electronic Media and Internet Resources Department of the Belarusian Ministry of Information, also spoke at the event. The Deputy of the House of Representatives Alena Anisim, the head of Efir CJSC Syargey Ofhan said some welcoming words and answered questions.
“Additional information about the culture and national values of Ukraine will be very interesting to our viewers. I hope that the Ukrainian channel will contribute to the expansion of economic ties between the regions of Belarus and Ukraine,” said Uladzimir Ryabavalau.
According to Lyudmila Berezovskaya, UATV is an international channel. In Belarus, the channel will be broadcast in Russian. The channel has a small news block lasting for 10 minutes. The main broadcasting time will be occupied by historical programs, fashion, sports, culture. The director of the channel noted that she understands the importance of broadcasting the channel in the Belarusian language and expects that a sound track will be created in the future so that the Belarusian consumers can choose the broadcasting language for themselves.
However, finding the channel on TV will not be that easy. Although 20 cable operators have agreed to broadcast the Ukrainian channel in their network and about 10 already broadcast it (the channel in the border regions of Homiel and Brest regions is particularly in demand). But the largest cable operators Beltelecom, MTIS and Kosmos-TV are in no hurry to launch UATV in their networks. The formal reason from Beltelecom is that the “Innovation” package has not been prepared. As the Ambassador of Ukraine noted, “activities in Beltelecom that do not allow the inclusion of UATV right now are still present.” Moreover, there is no talk about the inclusion of the Ukrainian channel in the so-called social package, because to get there, it is formally necessary that the channel has 30% of the content of the Belarusian production.