Latvia will see the launch of three new FTA channels in 2022.
According to the regulator NEPLP, this follows a competition it organised, with ReTV, TV24 and TV4 being awarded terrestrial licences for three years. They will join the FTA channels LTV1 and LTV7, which are operated by the public broadcaster LTV.
According to Patrick Griva, a member of the NEPLP, “the goal has been achieved – the competition has been won by TV channels that offer local content on a daily basis, which was one of the main conditions of the competition. The local original content of all three channels accounts for more than 90% of the total, which is a particularly high figure. High-quality and reliable local content is the greatest value in the information-rich media environment”.
The regulator says that ReTV will offer viewers a wide and varied content, covering regional activities, analysing information, providing content on culture, entertainment, hobbies, travel and other topics. The content of the program will be aimed at strengthening Latvia’s cultural space and national identity.
Meanwhile, TV24 will offer informative and analytical content, promoting public dialogue and discussions on current topics, as well as creating entertaining content. TV24 will also provide a diversity of views in discussions with industry professionals and stakeholders.
The most significant changes have affected TV4, which was introduced to viewers only this year. In the future, TV4 will offer not only the usual discussion programmes and conferences on important topics, but also original sports content, including live broadcasts from sports games, as well as sports analysis in discussion programs. A healthy lifestyle will be promoted through morning exercise and various talk shows with athletes and other opinion leaders.
The winners of the competition will have the right to broadcast TV programmes on free terrestrial broadcasting from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024. Funding for free terrestrial broadcasting is provided by the NEPLP so that local content television service is provided throughout the territory of Latvia, including to groups of the public that do not have access to pay-TV services.