Russian-language TV channel RTR Planeta has usurped PBK as the most popular channel amongst Russian-speaking TV viewers in Estonia, according to daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL).
RTR Planeta, the international service from state-owned Russian broadcaster VGTRK (Vserossiyskaya Gosudarstvennaya Televizionnaya i Radioveshchatelnaya Kompaniya), has been banned in Latvia and Lithuania, in the latter case for 'transmitting propagation of violence and instigation of war', primarily centring on its coverage of Ukraine.
Whilst PBK remains market leader in terms of dissemination of Russian state propaganda, according to EPL, it has been losing viewers for the past five years and has been overtaken RTR Planeta.
Commercial Russian channels dominate in Estonia
RTR Planeta, PBK and another channel, NTV Mir, whilst virtually unwatched by native Estonian speakers, are still bundled with commercial cable TV packages from most providers. As recently reported on ERR, around €3 million in licence fees goes to the Russian stations via Estonian-based operators, with perhaps as much again in advertising revenues.
The channels continue to dominate the Russian-speaking market, with ERR's own Russian-language public channel, ETV+, enjoying less than one per cent in market share at present.
Editor: Andrew Whyte