The Bosnian public broadcaster BHRT has moved a step closer to securing sustainable funding after having signed an agreement with the Electric Company (Elektroprivreda – JP EP).
According to the EBU, this means that the licence fee will be collected through electricity bills from this month. The same contract will be offered to other domestic electric companies and BHRT is hopeful of a positive outcome.
The EBU adds that the previous model for collecting the licence fee in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) expired over a year ago, with the government unable to agree on a long-term solution for funding BHRT.
Thanks to the new agreement with the electric company, public service media in BiH will be provided with a solid source of independent funding and will be able to start investing in new technology and programming.
Commenting on the development, EBU head of member relations, Eastern Europe, Radka Betcheva said: “We are pleased that BHRT has managed to secure stable income going forward which will allow them to better fulfil their remit to society.
“However BHRT is still in need of urgent government support to both repeal the outdated media laws and to help repay their debts which now stand in the region of €20 million. Without this assistance, public service media in BiH is still in a perilous state and we continue to appeal to the government to find a long term solution to their problems.”