Latvijas Neatkarīgā Televīzija
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LNT (Latvian: Latvijas Neatkarīgā Televīzija, Latvian Independent Television) is a major private television company in Latvia, founded in 1996. LNT features TV series, news and entertainment programmes, airing 24 hours a day in Latvian.
The predecessors of LNT were the first private Latvian TV station - news channel NTV-5 launched on May 4, 1992, and the morning television channel PICCA TV which was launched in 1994 by entrepreneur Andrejs Ēķis. Both companies merged into LNT in autumn of 1996. The new station positioned itself as a challenger of the monopoly in Latvia to the state broadcaster Latvian Television and declared itself as the "first nationwide, family entertainment channel", broadcasting locally produced news programs and imported films and entertainment, which at the represented 40% of the airtime.
In the beginning, most of the private programming was acquired from Russian media companies, but by 2002 it was reported that the company had made deals with Western companies such as Paramount, Warner Brothers and BBC.
On January 9, 2012, it was announced that the channel would be bought by the media congolmerate Modern Times Group together with the Russian language channel TV5 and the Latvian Music Channel for an undisclosed sum. The move was later approved by the Council of Competitiveness of Latvia.
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