Ukraine’s National Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (NTKU) has revoked the satellite broadcasting licence of the Ukrainian version of Euronews.
The news follows the announcement of a cooperation agreement between Euronews and Inter Media Group aimed at developing and reinforcing the Ukrainian version of the channel.
“Euronews has signed an agreement with Inter Media Group, a private audiovisual group, to produce the Ukrainian service,” wrote an Euronews spokesperson in an email to Broadband TV News.
“Before that, the previous agreement with the national broadcaster NTU was stopped by Euronews They couldn’t produce any more this service and have a debt of almost €11 million.
“So, the broadcast licence belonging to NTU was cancelled. The new Euronews partner, Inter Media Group, can now ask for a new licence. This is a normal procedure.”
According to the regulator (Rada), the broadcaster appealed to it to revoke the licence due to a lack of funding. Company representatives have said that over two years the debt to Euronews has built up to around €11 million.
Alexander Kharebin, the deputy director general at the NTKU, said that the agreements signed between the broadcaster and Euronews were not legally sound and it had only now been realised that they were very disadvantageous to the NTKU.
Kharebin also noted that Euronews and the NTKU do not have a commercial or editorial relationship. As a result, such cooperation is not only disadvantageous for the NTKU but also the state, which finances the broadcaster.
A legal review is now being conducted and further consultations between the two parties over the debt should take place.
The licence was valid until November 2021.
Quoted in Zerkalo Nedeli, Kharebin said that the NKTU will receive €600,000 in funding from the government this year.
The Ukrainian edition of Euronews was launched in August 2011. Euronews, with an Ukrainian soundtrack, is available as a free-to-air signal on the Eutelsat Hot Bird satellite.