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EBU sounds alarm on Ukrainian public service broadcasting

Public broadcasters organisation the EBU has expressed strong concerns about plans by the Ukrainian government to cut funding for public service broadcaster UA:PBC by 43% next year.

The EBU’s intervention followed a decision by the Ukrainian parliament to adopt a draft budget that will cut the pubaster’s annual budget to just UAH1 billion (€30 million). Despite the country’s public television and broadcasting law setting out a clear budget for public service media in the country, the EBU says that UA:PBC has received only half of the budgeted amount this year.

The organisation cited UA:PBC director-general Zurabi Alasaniia as saying that the latest proposals “violate all laws and [will] lead us to death”.

Alasaniia said that the broadcaster was “barely surviving” under its current allocation. According to the EBU, UA:PBC has a deficient of UAH220 million following the cut to its income this year. Analogue distribution of the service was recently axed by the state-owned Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Television Company of Ukraine. UA:PBC has meanwhile moved to seek alternative funding, including taking a loan, to continue operating.

The EBU, which was instrumental in setting up UA:PBC four years ago, called on the Ukrainian government to ensure appropriate, fair and independent funding of the broadcaster in line with Ukrainian law and European standards.

Tags: EBU, UA:PBC, Ukraine