Bulgarian TV Gets Additional Funding

By Pavlina Jeleva

    SOFIA: Bulgaria's Council of Ministers (www.government.bg) voted to give a subsidy of 950,000 BGN (485,727 euros) to public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (www.bnt.bg) for 2011. The money is in addition to the BNT 2011 budget of nearly 31 million euros voted by the Parliament by the end of last 2010.

    "The amount will be assured from the state budget in accordance to costs restructuring," the government said in a statement on 3 August 2011. The additional financing of the public broadcaster in the middle of the year was deemed as necessary aid "in view of an improvement of the product quality."

    Of that amount, €230 061 will be spent for the introduction of technology to display election results in real time. The rest will be used for the launch of the "Sofia program" and the unification of the "BNT regions" programs for payments of copyright and related rights to authors of feature and documentary films, and for photographic and studio equipment.

    Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov recently announced that the government will provide BNT with €920,324, especially designated to the broadcast of national football matches which has attracted small audiences. The Prime Minister reasoned that it would help football clubs in crisis.

    The government's decision specifies that "additional conditions need to be created, so that the BNT can be offered more possibilities to fully realize its social function."

    According to the Ministry of Finance (www.minfin.bg) this will not be the only extraordinary subsidy for BNT through the end of the year.