Croatia: EBU concerned about threat to broadcaster HRT

The European Broadcasting Union is deeply concerned about the threat to public broadcaster HRT in Croatia by plans to make a reduction of the licence fee part of the negotiations to form a new government. If a planned reduction of 19% is made, the cut in revenues for HRT would lead to severe cuts in programming, most likely also excluding the possibility to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. 

The MOST party want to make a 19% cut in the licence fee a pre-condition of entering into a coalition with HDZ. The EBU believes that this opportunistic move is an attempt to weaken the independence and editorial quality of HRT which is still the most trusted and relevant source of information in Croatia. The EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre has written to the President Andrej Plenković and President of MOST Božo Petrov to express her concern.

HRT TV reaches nearly 75% of the Croatian population each week. It is a role model for successful and relevant public service media (PSM) in the region with a TV market share of 28.4%, the highest in the Balkans. If a reduction of 19% is made, the cut in revenues for HRT would not only lead to the named cuts in programming, but would also undermine the functioning of PSM in Croatia.