Prva Srpska Televizija
|Prva Srpska Televizija|
Logo used since 1 September 2015.
|Launched||31 December 2006 (as Fox)|
20 September 2010 (as Prva)
|Owned by||Antenna Group|
|Audience share||9.0% (2017)|
|Website||www.prva.rs , www.prvatv.me|
From its inception until December 2009, it was majority-owned by the global media conglomerate News Corporation, which attached its Fox brand to the operation, naming Dan Bates as the CEO. During its time under News Corporation, Fox televizija closely co-operated with News Corporation owned networks in neighbouring countries such as bTV in Bulgaria and Fox Turkey, sharing production capabilities on specific projects and making use of their experiences. Though quickly establishing itself on the Serbian television market and improving its viewership stake year after year, Fox televizija was a money-losing operation, posting an annual loss both in 2007 and 2008. By August 2009, major restructuring was initiated at the network with 60% of its news division staff being laid off in preparation for the network sale that occurred several months later.
Following the December 2009 sale of Fox televizija to Antenna Group and a transitional period of several months during which Bates continued as CEO, the job was handed over to Dejan Jocić in March 2010 though the Fox televizija name continued to be used until the start of the next television season on 18 September 2010, when the network was re-branded as Prva srpska televizija or Prva. Jocić, a German-born Serb and former ProSieben managing director, presided over Prva's expansion into the Montenegrin television market with the August 2012 establishment of its sister channel – Prva TV Crna Gora.
Three years later, on 16 April 2013, the network's editor-in-chief Dragan Nenadović was prompted to the position of Prva's CEO.
News Corp was one of the five commercial groups that won the national broadcasting license in Serbia at a public tender organized by Serbian Broadcasting Agency in April 2006. In doing so, they beat out stiff competition from German RTL Group that also wanted to start a Serbian operation. News Corp named Dan Bates, an experienced television executive to be the CEO of its upstart Serbian operation.
Some three months later on 6 September 2006, an entity named Fox televizija started broadcasting a test signal consisting only of the superimposed Fox logo. Three days later on 9 September 2006 at precisely 8 pm, they played their first actual moving picture programme – a nature documentary that lasted some 45 minutes – before reverting to the Fox logo test signal. The exact same setup (test signal most of the day with a single taped programme at 8 pm) continued over the following ten days or so. Their primetime lineup was then somewhat expanded with a few Latin telenovelas, an occasional feature film, and a weekly ULEB Cup basketball game featuring Serbian teams (the basketball broadcasts were their first in-house productions). During daytime hours, they played a test signal, old episodes of canceled Croatian talk-show Sanja, and music videos. On 5 December 2006, before the ULEB Cup match featuring Red Star Belgrade vs PAOK basketball teams, a riot broke out between two sets of fans in Pionir Hall and the footage shot by Fox televizija was shown across the world.
On 22 December 2006, Fox televizija aired its first news programme featuring live reports from Belgrade's Republic Square during the decorative tree lighting ceremonies. Then on 31 December at 7 pm, Fox televizija finally launched officially with a live-to-air broadcast called Fox stiže as part of their newscast Fox Danas hosted that day by Zoran Baranac and Jovana Jakić. Amongst other things, the programme featured News Corp's chairman Rupert Murdoch wishing the citizens of Serbia happy new year 2007 and an unsuccessful attempt to link up with Fox News' studio in Baghdad via satellite.
During its initial period of official broadcasting, Fox telvizija's entertainment programming mostly relied on old and inexpensive American sitcoms, dramas, and soaps such as The Bold and the Beautiful, ALF, Hollywood Safari, El Cuerpo del Deseo, Police Academy, with One Tree Hill, Cold Case, and The Amazing Race being the only possible exceptions to the 'cheap & old' rule. As far as locally produced content, in addition to the evening newscast Fox Danas at 7 pm and the nightly one Fox Fokus at 10 pm, Fox's news division covered the Serbian parliamentary elections on 21 January 2007 with a one-off programme Ubedi pobedi hosted by news division head Tanja Vidojević.
During April 2007, in co-operation with Adrenalin production, the network started its most ambitious project up to that point with an hour-long entertainment talk-show hosted by actor Marko Živić airing nightly on weekdays at 10:30 pm. Pretty much simultaneously, a daytime lifestyle talk-show Katarina hosted by former model Katarina Rebrača began to air daily at 10 am as well as the morning 7 am programme called Fox i prijatelji.
For the new season, its first one in earnest, Fox televizija renewed the lineup with a locally produced franchised quiz-show Da li ste pametniji od đaka petaka?. It also passed on Marko Živić Show and Katarina, meaning that both shows ended after just couple of months on the air. Other new programmes were WWE Wrestling with local commentators (eventually got moved to a late night slot after viewer complaints), U tuđoj koži in which local celebrities swap lives for a day (got canceled after only a couple of episodes due to extremely low ratings only to eventually resurface on competing RTV Pink), and Ludi kamen (dating game show that continues to this day). Another new show was Ne daj se, Nina, made in co-operation with Croatian RTL Televizija.
November 2007 saw the premiere of late night talk-show Oralno doba hosted by Lane Gutović. On 31 December 2007, the first anniversary of official broadcasting, Fox Danas and Fox Fokus newscasts both got axed and were replaced by two editions of Fox Vesti.
Then in spring 2008, in cooperation with its sister networks bTV and Fox Turkey, Fox televizija started airing the local version of the French reality show Fort Boyard. Around the same time, daytime programme Posle kafe began airing weekdays at 11 am hosted initially by Danka Novović, Olja Rakić, and Bojana Kesić who were soon joined by other hosts as well. In early summer 2008, morning programme Fox i prijatelji (a local version of the Fox News programme Fox and Friends) axed.
For the summer 2008, while its regular programmes were on hiatus, Fox televizija shifted lineup a bit and aired as Fox Non-Stop nightly from 9 pm with a succession of movies and mini-series. During the same summer on 21 July 2008, the network got a scoop by first reporting the arrest of Radovan Karadžić late in the night and interrupting its regularly scheduled programming to go live on air in breaking news format until early morning hours.
Rumoured 2008 sale
In mid-July 2008 speculation appeared that News Corp was considering offers to sell all its Eastern European assets including Fox televizija. The company reportedly hired Lehman Brothers financial-services firm to ascertain the value and strategic options of its three Eastern European stations after being approached by multiple suitors.
By early September, the activity reportedly intensified with various Serbian press outlets reporting that German RTL Group and Bermuda-based Ronald Lauder-managed CME were the most interested parties in buying the three Fox stations based in Serbia, Latvia, and Bulgaria.
However, by late October, both parties pulled out of the deal. CME left reportedly due to global financial crisis, while RTL decided to pursue other course of action as far as entering the Serbian television market is concerned, with their interest turning to buying TV Avala.
On 20 August 2009, ahead of its third full season on air, Fox televizija initiated massive cost-cutting measures. The move had the biggest effect on the network's news division where 60% of the employees (on-air personalities and technical staff) got laid off. On the same occasion, the network canceled the morning news program Fox 900 sekundi that had been on the air for less than a year. Fox televizija's spokesperson said the layoffs were initiated due to the "financial consequences of the economic crisis". In total, around sixty Fox televizija's full-time employees, including the news division head Tanja Vidojević, got laid off as well as tens of contractors as part of cost-cutting measures throughout News Corp.'s assets worldwide during spring and summer 2009 following heavy losses reported by News Corp. at the beginning of the year. In September 2010, Fox televizija changed its name to Prva srpska televizija.
Starting its second full season on 22 September 2008, Fox televizija introduced a variety of changes, the most noticeable being a new visual identity similar to other News Corp stations around Europe. Also on the same day, Fox Vesti evening newscast at 7 pm got moved to 6 pm and extended from 30 minutes to a full hour while the 7 pm slot got taken over by hit American drama Lost that thus premiered on the network. Also Fox Vesti at 10 pm got moved an hour later to 11 pm. In the morning, news programme Fox 900 sekundi premiered at 7 am as replacement for Fox i prijatelji. About a month later Survivor Srbija (local version of the global reality show that got shot during summer 2008) started airing. In late December, Fajront Republika, weekly entertainment talk-show premiered and right away established a devoted youth following that translated into strong ratings.
On 14 February 2009, the first season finale of Survivor Srbija aired live, bringing the network its biggest audience share ever. After the end of Survivor season, the network introduced a Japanese sports entertainment show Ninja Warrior, which has managed to post strong ratings as well.
A new, third full season begins on 8 October 2009, with shows Fajront Republika by Zoran Kesić and Ludi Kamen with Srđan Karanović, but from this season and with Aleksandra Obradović, and new show Mame u štrajku. Tomorrow begins quiz Serbian Open, with Serbian contestants. On 19 October 2009, the drama series Na terapiji, recorded from December 2008 to March 2009, which contains 45 episodes, and reality show Survivor Serbia 2 begin. The programme Posle kafe is replaced by the programme Važne stvari.
On 12 October 2009, Fox televizija introduced an all-new visual identity, whose the background color is orange, in the foreground for the television logo creation the letter "X" is taken instead of the letter "O", and there is also a new characteristic music, and the television logo has now dropped from upper right corner of the screen, less than three years after launching. New slogan of television is Uključi se!, and their website is also redesigned. On same day the studio for Fox Vesti is changed, with the presence of television logo in upper left corner of the screen, he now looks very different: only the TVs are in the background, while the rest is colored in black, and they are added some light effects in orange color, instead of blue color on big inscription is now orange color, and there is no pipe behind board which has separated studio from editorial part.
Season started on 2 September 2013. Prva got a modified look, making it the logo move to bottom right instead of center right before or after commercials or promos, and little dark the areas except for the P who stays white. Nothing happened with the marks on-screen. It didn't change the logo. Popular series Kako vreme prolazi, Plač Violine and Otvorena vrata continued to air. Also, the 5th season of Veče sa Ivanom Ivanovićem started on 13 September. On 12 October, Prva started to air new show – Tvoje lice zvuči poznato or TLZP, Serbian version of Your Face Sounds Familiar TV show. Also, new seasons of popular shows started to air – Domaćine, oženi se, Galileo, Žene, Exkluziv, Exploziv and there are also two new shows: Moja velika svadba (that was previously aired on RTV Pink) and Volim prirodu. There are also some new TV series in this season: Ispovest, Institut, Sinđelići (Serbian remake of Los Serrano) and Karadayı. Papijeva ekipa and Žene sa Dedinja will start airing soon. Prva also launched cable TV channel, Prva Plus. In December, Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne? started airing. A New Year program returns as the New Year special of Tvoje lice zvuči poznato, the first one being set in the end of 2011 and was the New Year special of the first season of Prvi glas Srbije. On 20 January 2014, the rerun of TV series "Na Terapiji" started airing on every weekday except Friday and also Umutsuz Ev Kadınları, Tukish version of Desperate Housewives started to air. On 25 January 2014, the rerun of "Crni Gruja" started airing on weekends. On 27 January 2014, Prva redesigned its news studio, just changed the background from orange to lavender color, and re-added the balustrade (the one used in late 2000s), Ples sa Zvezdama (local version of Dancing with the Stars) aired from 29 March 2014, until 18 June 2014. On 19 February 2014, Prva announced that Toga se niko nije setio, local version of Pointless game show, will start airing soon. Draga Saveta and Otvorena vrata started airing on 26 March 2014. Toga se niko nije setio started airing on 5 April 2014. Fourteen celebrities started dancing in the new dance competition – Ples sa Zvezdama, which started airing on 29 March 2014. The rerun of the first Tvoje lice zvuči poznato airs during August, weekends at 4 pm.
The season started on 1 September 2014, with some little changes: the news program will, since 2010, go back to 6pm. The network also announced that a 6th (also the second-to-last) season of Veče sa Ivanom Ivanovićem will air, also with the 2nd season of Tvoje lice zvuči poznato. It is unknown will the network change its visual identity or not.
The season will start on 1 September 2015, and along with it, a new visual identity will be accompanied, including a new logo. It is supposed to begin on 1 September at 6pm, at the same time its news program starts.
The new season will include the 2015 regular season of Veliki brat (together with B92), making it the first ever television show to air on two Serbian television networks. It has also planned a local version of My Mom Cooks Better Than Yours.
- Fox televizija
At its inception, Fox televizija was 49% owned by News Corporation since Serbian laws don't allow foreign-based subjects to own 50% percent or more of a television network with a nationwide broadcasting license. At that time the other 51% stake was spread among Dragan Karanović (21%), ITV2066 d.o.o. (company owned by Branko Salić, 15%), and Istočna TV d.o.o. (company owned by Zoran Popović and Branislav Bukvić, 15%). In 2008, there was a lot of buzz in the media about Fox televizija being sold to CME group, but nothing came of it.
- Antenna Group acquisition
In late 2009, following an earlier sighting of Greek billionaire and Antenna Group owner Minos Kyriakou in Belgrade, the sale of News Corp's 49% stake in Fox televizija to Greek media company Antenna Group for an undisclosed amount was announced with the change of ownership officially taking effect on the first day of 2010. The brand Fox continued to be used. Though the amount of Greek purchase remained undisclosed it was widely speculated in Serbian media that it was $1 plus the takeover of all of Fox televizija's debts.
ANT1 Group controls the 49% stake in Fox televizija through a Greece-based entity called Warraner Ltd. As for the other 51% stake, it was also taken over by ANT1 Group, however that was done through Serbian-based entity called Nova Broadcasting d.o.o. that's owned by another one of ANT1 Group's subsidiary in Greece – Antenna Stream TV Ltd.
In December 2018, "Kopernikus Technology" former purchased B92 and Prva Srpska Televizija from ANT1 Group, one month after Telekom Srbija bought Kopernikus Technology for 190 million euros. The transaction between state-owned Telekom Srbija and Kopernikus made public outrage in Serbia as Kopenikus' market worth at the time of purchase was several times lower than the amount it was purchased for; it was also revealed that major stakeholder in company was a close relative to ruling Serbian Progressive Party officer.
Prva's own shows are broadcast in 16:9 format, which gives the people a higher standard of Image known as Widescreen.
According to AGB Nielsen Media Research for the calendar year 2007, among the Serbian channels with national coverage, Fox televizija held fifth place in overall viewership (4.7% TV market share and 2.2 million average daily viewers tuning in for at least one minute) behind RTS1 (26.5%), Pink (23.5%), B92 (9.3%), and RTS2 (6.8%).
Over the calendar year 2008, Fox televizija still held the fifth place among the national broadcasters, however its market share increased to 6.4%.
For the overall viewership during 2009 calendar year, Fox's share further increased to 7.8%, which meant that it overtook RTS2 and improved to fourth place in the list, still behind RTS1 (26.0%), Pink (23.8%), and B92 (8.0%), but ahead of RTS2 (5.8%). For a while, Fox was even ahead of B92 in third place, but B92 managed to pull ahead in the end due to Veliki brat broadcasts during the last annual quarter.
According to its calendar year 2007 annual financial report submitted to Serbian Economic Register Agency, the company had 80 employees and it posted a loss of RSD494,513,000 (approximately €6.2 million at the time with the approximate exchange rate of €1=RSD80).
In the 2008 annual report, the company reported 40 employees and a loss of RSD441,330,000 (approximately €4.9 million at the time with the approximate exchange rate of €1=RSD90).
Criticism and controversy
Fox televizija created a minor controversy in early September 2007 when it decided to take its late-night programme, the Marko Živić Show, off the air. Despite becoming fairly prominent over a short period (it premiered on 24 April 2007), the official statement released by Fox said the cancellation was "a temporary measure that came about through a desire to free up Fox televizija's fall schedule for more movies and series". However, some Serbian print outlets very much wondered why would a network that's struggling for viewership be taking its best rated programme off the air.
- Agencija za privredne registre
- Dejan Jocić novi direktor TV Foksa; Press, 19 March 2010
- Dragan Nenadović novi direktor TV Prva;mondo.rs, 16 April 2013
- News Corp.’s "Fox Televizija" Awarded National Television License in the Republic of Serbia, NewsCorp Press Release, 20 April 2006
- Red Star vs. PAOK 5 December 2006
- Lehman to advise News Corp on 3 European stations, Reuters.com, 16 July 2008
- Nemački RTL želi „Foks“ – Rupert Mardok prodaje TV stanice u istočnoj Evropi, Blic, 4 September 2008[permanent dead link]
- Foks preživeo, Press 28 October 2008
- Otkazi na Foksu, Press, 21 August 2009
- Mardok naredio otkaze na Foksu, Press, 22 August 2009
- MySpace Set to Lay Off 400 Workers , NY Times, 16 June 2009
- FOX O&O Layoff Watch: News Corp Reports Massive $6.4 Billion Dollar Loss; Local Stations Declined 44%, 5 February 2009
- Agencija za privredne registre
- Zakon o radiodifuziji Archived 6 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Otkrivamo – Grci kupuju TV Foks!; Press, 16 December 2009
- Antenna Group Agrees to Buy News Corp's Serbian Stake Fox Televizija; Satellite News, 29 December 2009
- TV Foks prodata za jedan dolar?; RTV, 29 December 2009
- Nova Broadcasting d.o.o. @ Agencija za privredne registre
- "Novi vlasnik Prve televizije i O2 TV". b92.net (in Serbian). 4 December 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Obradović, M. (6 November 2018). "Telekom: Kopernikus smo platili manje od 200 miliona evra". danas.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- Obradović, M. (13 November 2018). "Milićević: Kopernikus vredi 37,5 miliona evra". danas.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 17 November 2018.
- RTS1 najgledanija televizija 2007. godine, MTS Mondo
- 31 December 2008
- Finasijski izvestaj za 2008
- Ukinut „Marko Živić šou" – Tv „Foks“ skinula s programa najgledaniju emisiju, Blic, 1 September 2007[permanent dead link]