The channel Belarus-TV in Moscow was demanded to pay USD 45 mln. Mostelekom, subordinated to Moscow government, explains that they can’t make an exception for Belarusian TV and don’t exclude that the order to block BT was made by the structures, which aren’t interested in its presence in Moscow.
The administration of the national Teleradiocompany blame the owners of Moscow cable operator Mostelekom for an attempt to enforce payment for rebroadcast of the cable channel Belarus-TV programmes.
Valery Radutski, executive director of central management of the cable channel Belarus-TV, said in the interview to Radio Svaboda that there were no problems with broadcasting on the whole territory of the Russian Federation.
Moscow is another matter: the local operators demand high payment. At the same time, the Belarusian Teleradiocompany is interested in wide audience in Moscow, its potential audience is about 3 mln people:
“There is such an operator in Moscow – Mostelekom. We want to enter the cable nets of Moscow with its help. We have two agreements with operators, we have audience in Moscow, but rather small- about 1 mln people.
We held the negotiations with deputy mayor of Moscow Valeri Vinogradov to enter Mostelekom.
But Mostelekom says us: pay money, 15 dollars for a subscriber. It means about 45 mln dollars. They don’t listen to our reasons. For instance, Russian TVC is broadcasted free in Belarus. But they answer – then block them! We will broadcast you after you pay. “
Konstantin Starastin, head of the financial department of the joint company Mostelekom, confirmed in the interview to Radio Svaboda that the audience of the company was about 3 mln people.
The existing 15-dollars charge for using services is natural for commercial relation:
“You understand, we have expenses on this matter. We can’t work at a loss. But it can’t be excluded there are some political reasons, though I can’t be sure. Only a part of our company is owned by Moscow government, we can’t act on our authority.
Frankly speaking, Putin doesn’t like Lukashenka very much, I think. It may be a lost cause at all, we may be even punished for our activity.
If everything there was OK, they would say us – broadcast, and that’s all. But if nobody does anything, they don’t want to broadcast or it’s all equal to them.
Then the companies can bargain. If the only problem is charge, it all can be discussed. But if it is a political issue, why should we nose into politics?” Starastin declared.
Note. International cable channel Belarus-TV has been broadcasted abroad since 1 February 2005. He is in structure of the National Teleradiocompany. The channel broadcasts informational, propaganda and entertaining programmes of BT.