Latvian Public Broadcasting to launch Russian-language channel

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
3/20/2015 10:20 AM
Category: International

The National Electronic Mass Media Council of Latvia has approved the plan to set up a state-run Russian-language television channel, similar to ERR's soon-to-be-launched ETV3 in Estonia.

The channel will be called LTV3. LTV1 only broadcasts in Latvian, while LTV7, the other state-run channel, already airs a quarter of its shows in Russian.

The channel is likely to begin broadcasting in the second half of 2016, but much will depend on next year's state budget, LSM reported.

The new channel will also run regional programing for provinces in Latvia with high number of ethnic Russians, such as the Latgale province.

Estonia decided to launch a Russian-language channel, which is likely to be called ETV3, in 2014. The initial plan is to begin service at the end of September.

The rush to create Russian-language media outlets in the Baltic states, but also in other EU countries, appeared after the crisis in Ukraine set off an information war. Baltic leaders have voiced their concern about the one-sided information available in Russian to the large ethnic Russian populations in the Baltic states.

J.M. Laats

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