Television in Ukraine
Television has a long history in Ukraine, with regular television broadcasting started during the former USSR years in 1951. However the first ever TV broadcast took place on 1 February 1939 in Kyiv. Since then TV broadcasting has expanded, particularly after the fall of Communism in 1989, and now there are many different channels and groups in the Ukrainian TV market.
The first official broadcast took place in Kiev on 1 February 1939. It was 40 minutes long and showed the portrait of Sergo Ordzhonikidze. After World War II, on 6 November 1951, a Kyiv tele-centre made a debut with a live broadcasting of the patriotic movie "The Great Glow". Next day the telecentre went on air again by broadcasting the solemn measures of celebrating the 34th anniversary of the October Revolution.
On 1 May 1952, a concert went on air (shot in the small and only pavilion of the telecentre known as "Studio B") of Ukrainian singers, soloists of the Kyiv Taras Shevchenko Opera Theater. The anchorwoman of the concert was the Kyiv Telecentre's first announcer – Novella Serapionova. In 1953, the construction of the building of the Kyiv Telecentre on Khreshchatyk was completed, right after the finishing of the Moscow and Leningrad Telecentres. Regular programs started to go on air in 1956. Until that year, the Telecentre went on air twice a day showing feature films or documentaries. Live broadcasting was the only form of broadcasting. Recording video became usual in the mid-1960s.
The first regular national channel appeared on January 20, 1965 under the name UT-1 (Ukrainian television - 1, today - Pershyi National), while on March 6, 1972 a second channel, UT-2, was created. In 1983, the new telecenter started to be built at the 42 Melnyk Street, which was opened after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1993.
After the Orange Revolution, Ukrainian television became more free. In February 2009 the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting claimed that "political pressure on mass media increased in recent times through amending laws and other normative acts to strengthen influence on mass media and regulatory bodies in this sphere".
As of January 2009, Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko refused to appear in Inter TV-programmes "until journalists, management and owners of the TV channel stop destroying the freedom of speech and until they remember the essence of their profession - honesty, objectiveness, and unbiased stand".
In early March 2014, Crimea removed Ukraine-based TV channels ahead of its Russian annexation referendum. Later that month, the Ukrainian National Council for TV and Radio Broadcasting ordered measures against some Russian TV channels which were accused of broadcasting misleading information about Ukraine. In February 2015 the law "On protection information television and radio space of Ukraine," banned the showing (on Ukrainian television) of "audiovisual works" that contain "popularization, propaganda, propaganda, any action of law enforcement agencies, armed forces, other military, military or security forces of an invader" was enacted. One year later Russian productions (on Ukrainian television) had decreased by 3 to 4 (times). 15 more Russian TV channels were banned in March 2016.
According to the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No.509 dated June 13, 2018, analogue broadcasting was disconnected on the territory of the Kirvograd region and Kyiv from July 31, 2018. The date of the switch-off of analogue broadcasting on the rest of Ukraine is August 31, 2018
In 2007 and 2008, experimental DVB-T broadcasts of few channels started in Kyiv and Odesa. Those turned out to be successful. Yet the DTT National Program is not approved by the government, thus the process is stuck. Because there are two versions of the program submitted: from the Ministry of Transport and Communications as well as from the State Committee of Television and Radio, there is no particular progress in 2008.
On 26 November 2008, the National Program of the Ministry was approved, but the final version and the public announcement of this fact is still on hold. Current version of the program does not take into notice any kind of Government financing, and the budget is to be private only, which will highly affect the TV industry and commercial broadcasters.
Besides there are 3rd parties, such as Television Industry Committee and National Association of Broadcasters which represent the communities of National and regional broadcasters respectively. Both organizations help the switchover not to affect the business of over 20 National and over 150 regional broadcasters.
The International Forum 'Digital Broadcasting in Ukraine' is the annual event that takes place in Kyiv, Ukraine. Its mission is to gather the most of international consultants and Ukrainian specialists to solve industry's problems in the DTT field. In 2008 the 2nd International Forum took place in Kyiv also. BBC, Deloitte and the Ministry of Communications of Finland representatives share the vision of possible plan of DTT implementation in Ukraine, delivering the best experiences from UK, Finland, France and US. Still none was taken into notice yet. It is now confirmed that Ukraine's national terrestrial TV network, which is scheduled to be launched in September 2011, will use the DVB-T2 standard for all four nationwide FTA multiplexes, for both SD and HD broadcasts. Before settling for DVB-T2, Ukraine was testing both DVB-T/MPEG-2 and DVB-T/MPEG-4 options, and some experimental transmitters operating in those standards are still alive.
Commercial MMDS digital TV services work in Kyiv and some other cities.
As of February 2019, television broadcasting in Ukraine is available in a colour digital format, via:
- digital TV
- satellite TV
- cable television (Volia, regional operators)
- online services and IPTV (the most famous ones are Divan TV, Sweet TV, MEGOGO, Handy TV)
There is a choice between several free-to-air commercial broadcasters as well as the public broadcaster, the UA:PBC. In addition to its metropolitan asset, UA:First and an art station, UA:Culture, the PBC also owns regional stations in all regions of Ukraine. A national parlamentary channel, Rada, is available too.
Commercial television is dominated by five major broadcasters: 1+1 media, StarLightMedia, Inter Media Group, Media Group Ukraine and Lux, which is the smallest Ukrainian major broadcaster. One of the main Ukrainian news channels, Channel 5, belongs to the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.
Regional television in Ukraine consists primarily of independently owned networks not affilated with major broadcasters in each region.
Subscription television consists of various providers. The largest providers are Kyivstar, Viasat and Volia. In remote areas, there are many small independent providers that provide either satellite or cable television services.
List of channels
Satellite and cable
- English Club TV
- Music Box UA
- 8 channel
- Vintage TV
- EU Music
- 4ever Music
- Milady Television
- Malyatko TV
- Pershyi Avtomobilny Channel
- Pershyi Dilovyi Channel
- 112 Ukraine
- Telekanal 24
- Nadiya (Hope Channel Ukraine)
- Sonce TV
- PORT-MONE TV
- CNL Ukraine
- Discovery Channel Ukraine
- TLC Ukraine
- National Geographic Channel Ukraine
- Da Vinci Learning Ukraine
- Deutsche Welle
- Novorossiya TV (banned in Ukraine)
Some political and public activists (who? Citation needed and better English grammar) criticise Ukrainian television, mainly a number of central channels for the presence of a big amount of Russian origin content. According to calculations of "Boycott Russian Films" activists, in September 2014 amount of Russian TV-production on the leading Ukrainian channels ("Ukrayina", "ICTV", "NTN", "Novyi Kanal", "Inter", "STB", "2+2", "TET", "K1", "1+1") took approximately 40%. In October and December activists noticed increasing of amounts of Russian content on this channels, and Ukraine is currently in war state with Russia acting as main enemy.
Also activists (who? Citation needed) criticise Ukrainian channels for their language policy. In October 2014 activists have published statistics of content's language of Ukrainian channels. According to it there are 29% of completely Ukrainian language content, 39.3% of completely Russian language content, 23.5% of Russian language content with Ukrainian subtitles and 8.2% of bilingual content (both Ukrainian and Russian).
- History of television in Ukraine
- [tt_news]=30800 UKRAINIAN PARTIES SCRAMBLE FOR MEDIA, FOREIGN ALLIES, AHEAD OF PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, The Jamestown Foundation (August 17, 2005)
- National TV Council Claims Harder Political Pressure On Mass Media Archived 2012-09-19 at Archive.today, Ukrainian News Agency (February 6, 2009)
- Inter TV Channel Denies Businessman Firtash's Being Among Shareholders Of Company Archived 2013-02-08 at Archive.today, Ukrainian News Agency (January 23, 2009)
- "Crimeans urged to vote against "neo-Nazis" in Kiev". BBC News. 13 March 2014.
- Ennis, Stephen (12 March 2014). "Ukraine hits back at Russian TV onslaught". BBC News.
- Barry, Ellen; Somaiya, Ravi (5 March 2014). "For Russian TV Channels, Influence and Criticism". The New York Times.
- (in Ukrainian) During the year, showing Russian media product fell to 3-4 - National Council, Den (5 February 2016)
- TV broadcasting council removes 15 more Russian TV channels from adaptation list Interfax-Ukraine (12 February 2016)
- Decree of CMU
- Wilson,A. Virtual Politics - Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World. "Yale University Press", 2005. ISBN 0-300-09545-7