Recession hits Slovene TV plans

By Matevz Rudolf
    Slovene public broadcaster RTV (www.rtvslo.si) announced it will cancel Passions, the first Slovenian daily TV series, and one of RTV's biggest projects, which debuted late last year.

    RTV planned more than a hundred episodes to be shown in prime time preceding the evening news, in a ploy to strengthen news ratings, which face strong competition from commercial TV station Pop TV.

    But the show failed to connect with viewers, who were used to children's cartoons being in the time slot. Assistant director Igor Pirkovic stated: "The ratings in evening times were worse that we had before. There was a mistake made in not informing our viewers about the change in the cartoon scheduling. But the situation is not as critical as it seems." Approximately one third of the viewers who were watching TV at that time were tuned in to Passions.

    Later, RTV station director Joze Mozina gave another explanation for canceling the telenovella: "The main reason is lack of money, since we won't receive more money from government and obligatory TV fees from Slovenian viewers. We were forced to consider these facts and react immediately." Another Slovenian TV humorous series (Brother to Brother) was canceled last year due to low ratings.

    In addition, the leading Slovenian commercial TV station POP TV (http://24ur.com/) canceled plans for the third sequel of the reality show Big Brother and the TV comedy series Swingers which were both produced by the station. All the changes were made after the financial plan for this year had been set. Budget concerns also resulted in the cancellation of contracts of many honorary workers. The series will be replaced with lower budget productions that have yet to be announced.