VILNIUS – The share of Russian-language content on Lithuanian TV channels has gone down this season, a survey by the Kauno Diena daily shows.
The number of hours of Russian-language content on Lithuania's major TV channels, including LNK and the BTV and TVl channels of the same group, TV3 and the group's TV6 and TV8 channels, Lietuvos Ryto TV, LRT and LRT Pius, has been going up for the past five years. For example, the number stood at 151 hours per week in January, 2016, amounted to 212 hours last year, but stands only at 125 hours this year.
Lietuvos Ryto TV and BTV broadcast the largest share of Russian films and programs. Last season, they amounted to 97 hours a week, but now the share stands at only 29 hours. The difference is due to the change in the Lietuvos Ryto TV channel's owners and managers. Audrius Siaurusevicius, who now manages the TV channel, says the channel is broadcasting the Russian content it had bought earlier, with the licenses of some TV shows set to expire. "We currently have no plans to acquire Russian products, Ukrainian as well," he said.
The share of Russian content on BTV went down from 46 to 24 hours per week. "The share of BTV's Russian content has gone down due to geopolitical reasons, despite it having a permanent audience. This audience is migrating to Russian channels rebroadcast in Lithuania after lacking Russian content on Lithuanian channels, so, naturally, we are losing part of the audience," Gediminas Malaskevicius, spokesman for the LNK group which owns BTV, said.