Polish-Ukrainian Channel Plans September Launch

By Katarzyna Grynienko

    WARSAW: Ukrainian private broadcaster TVi is planning to launch a Polish-Ukrainian satellite channel, TVi Europe, to present a "Pan-European option" for viewers.

    The new channel will broadcast documentaries, feature films and series that TVi (www.tvi.ua)plans to buy from the Polish public broadcaster TVP(www.tvp.pl). The station will also show content from Polsat News (www.polsat.pl). A daily Polish news show Wydarzenia (Events) will be transmitted in the Ukraine 30 minutes after airing in Poland. A Polish evening news show, To był dzień na świecie (That Was The Day Around The World), will air the following morning on TVi Europe. The content of the channel will be 33% in Polish and 67% in Ukrainian.

    "We are convinced that creating a Polish-Ukrainian television channel under the auspices of TVi will make our countries and nations even closer. It will allow the Ukrainians to know more about Poland, and Poland about the Ukraine. The project, with its bilingual form, should launch this fall along with the new program offer of TVi," TVi Genral Director Mykola Kniażycki said.

    TVi Europe received a broadcasting license from the Polish National Broadcasting Chamber (www.krrit.gov.pl). The channel will be available to users of the Amos satellite and will also be picked up by cable providers in Ukraine and Poland. TVi is currently conducting negotiations with cable operators in both countries.

    TVi, owned by Mykoła Kniażycki and Konstantyn Kagalowski, was established in 2008 and has a journalistic/documentary profile. Up to 2011 the station was broadcasting not only via satellite and cable but also via ground frequencies that were taken away by the government in the beginning of the year because of content deemed to be created "against and in danger of the public interest". The European Parliament was against the repression and found it to be a danger to freedom of speech in the Ukraine. Despite that, TVi is currently broadcasting via satellite and cable only. The station's share of the local market is 2%, and it reaches approximately half of the households in the Ukraine.