Journalistic Survey
Photo Reportage
Foreign Media about Georgia
Reader's opinion
Children's Rights
Women's Rights

Cable TVs in the process to switch to digit broadcasting

September 30, 2016
Lana Giorgidze

On September 29, Georgian Cable TV Union organized international conference – The Days of the Georgian Cable TVs – Third Millennium Together, in the Tbilisi Celebration Palace of Rituals. 

The representatives of the Cable TVs from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Germany and other countries attended the conference. The invited guests presented reports about innovations in their countries. The representatives of the Georgian Cable TVs will be able to develop the business through listening and sharing concrete examples.

On the conference, the reporters presented different topics, including copyright issues, digital broadcasting, digital technologies and more. 

“One of the important topics the reporters talked about was dissemination of illegal content, which threatens cable operators. During the meeting we discussed how we can solve the problem”, - Teona Beruashvili, the executive director of the Georgian Cable TV Union, said. 

The executive director of Georgian Cable TV Union explained that after switching to the digital broadcasting the minor cable operators encountered problems. 

“The cable operators were forced to transform the signal to the analogue frequency, in order to avoid cutting off the broadcasting. Our goal is to receive more information how to switch to digital broadcasting and to walk in parallel to the progress. However, it needs big investments. Legal content and technical accuracy is also expensive. The problems are more visible in the regions of Georgia, because there are less people who can afford to pay the service”, - Teona Beruashvili clarified.  

On the conference, Natia Kuprashvili, the chairperson of Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters talked about switching to the digital broadcaster and gave recommendations to the cable operators. 

“The cable operators have kind of fear to switch from analogue broadcaster to digital broadcaster, because digital broadcaster increases the number of free users. Despite that the number of channels increased, the cable operators have part of audience, that’s why I recommend not to fight with each other, but to unite the forces. On the one hand, the frequency resource is unused, which can be used by Pay TV Operators. It will enable them to add more channels and make their social package more attractive. I think, we should all prefer hybrid Set Top Boxes, in order to ensure free access to broadcaster for audience. In that case, cable operators will sell additional packages to audience. It will be very attractive. We are ready for cooperation”, - Natia Kuprashvili explained. 

Kuprashvili said if cable operators take the recommendation into account, it will bring success to them and local broadcasters.
“It is important for the state, that local actors were stable. The assumption regarding increasing of Georgian channels up to 100 was articulated on the conference. Right now 64 TV-channels are broadcasting, which I think is not adequate reality for the national market. The advertisement market is not enough to keep even two TVs. It shows that the channels are subsided and “honest money” does not circulate. Therefore, it is exhaustible recourse, that’s why the number of channels will not increase. In the end, we will have stable broadcasting, which has to be fortified, including cable operators. Generally, it is better when the whole product enlarges. It is very important, to create a strategy to spend the money collected in Georgia mostly on Georgia, that will support economical growth as well”, - Natia Kuprashvili, the head of the Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters declared. 

On the conference, Nino Gogoladze, the head of the TV MR Georgia, made a presentation about those 64 Georgian channels which are more popular and about the most viewable TV- programs in Georgia. Gogoladze said, according to the 2016 data, the top channels are Rustavi 2, Imedi and Maestro in Georgia.  

“In order to figure out which Georgian or foreign channels are watched in Georgia, the company TV MR Georgia conducts basic large-scaled research, afterwards randomly chooses respondents and offers them to participate in the polls. We research the audience in seven cities of Georgia: Tbilisi, Rustavi, Gori, Kutaisi, Poti, Zugdidi and Batumi”, - Nino Gogoladze explained. 

Gogoladze said the company has been continuously researching which channels Georgian audience watches since January 1, 2015. She added people watch Georgian channels more frequently than foreign channels, which make up only 11%. 

The days of Georgian Cable TV – the third millennium together - organized by the Georgian Cable TV Union will end on October 1.