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ⓘ Latvijas Televīzija




Latvijas Televīzija
                                     

ⓘ Latvijas Televīzija

Latvijas Televīzija is the state-owned public service television broadcaster in Latvia.

The company is funded by grant-in-aid from the Latvian government around 60%, with the remainder coming from television commercials. Although moving LTV to licence fee funding has long been debated, this has been consistently opposed by the government. Many media analysts believe that the real reason for this is that the government is reluctant to lose the control of LTV that state-funding gives it.

LTV operates two channels, LTV1 in Latvian and LTV7 previously called LTV2 in Latvian with selected programming in Russian. LTV1 broadcasts the Eurovision Song Contest in Latvia each year, and LTV7 also broadcasts many sport events such as the Olympics, various Latvian league and national team games, Minor Hockey League, UEFA European Football Championship games and the FIFA World Cup.

The company is a member of the European Broadcasting Union, having joined on 1 January 1993. From the restoration of independence in 1991 to 31 December 1992, it was a member of the International Radio and Television Organisation OIRT. LTV hosted the annual Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, as well as the IIHF Mens Ice Hockey Championships in 2006 and the inaugural Eurovision Choir of the Year competition in 2017.

                                     

1.1. History 1954 to 1993

First test broadcasting started on 6 November 1954 in black-and-white and it was seen by only 20 television owners. It is the first and oldest national television station in the Baltic countries. Regular broadcasting started on 20 November 1954. At the start, LTV didnt have rights to create their own programming. In 1955 Rigas Television studio was created and since then programming was created by the studio.

On 19 March 1958, the first evening news show went on the air. In 1963, it was renamed to Panorāma, as it is known to this day. A second TV channel was launched in 1961 and both channels converted to SECAM color in 1974. In 1986, both the Riga TV Tower and the LTV television headquarters were officially completed.

                                     

1.2. History 1993 onwards

On 1 January 1993, Latvian Television and Radio Latvia became members of the European Broadcasting Union EBU. On 2 February 1998, LTV along with LNT, Channel 31 now TV3 and TV Riga later TV5 converted to PAL color.

In 2008, LTV started broadcasting in digital terrestrial TV standard in MPEG2 format, changing to MPEG4 format on 1 August 2009 as the telecommunications company Lattelecom has been chosen to be the official integrator of digital terrestrial TV in Latvia. Analogue distribution of LTV7 finished on 1 March 2010. LTV completely finished broadcasting LTV1 in analogue format on 1 July 2010. Both LTV channels are also available on the Sirius satellites Nordic beam as part of the Viasat package.

LTV changed its aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 in 2003. A full switch to HDTV broadcasts, currently planned for 2021 or 2022, has not so far been implemented due to financial constraints, although selected programming such as live broadcast of a staging of The Nutcracker by the Latvian National Opera on LTV1 in 2012 and the matches of the IIHF World Championships on LTV7 since 2018, has been shown in HD.

                                     

1.3. History Public Broadcasting of Latvia since 2013

Since 2013 LTV has come under the umbrella of Public Broadcasting of Latvia along with Radio Latvia, as part of the unification of both public broadcasters. LTV and Radio Latvia now share one news portal, LSM.lv, and an online streaming service REplay.lv, with content from both broadcasters.

In 2017 LTV launched the online channel Visiem LTV also styled VISIEMLTV.LV for foreign viewers, mostly targeted for the Latvian diaspora. The programming is a mix of LTV1 and LTV7 broadcasts that are not restricted by copyright laws and are available globally.