The funding problem that BHRT is facing for the past years has been temporarily solved with a two-million euros fund granted for the broadcaster by the Council of Ministers. The extreme financial problems that BHRT is facing almost led to the shutdown of the country’s public television.
The payment now granted for BHRT is intended to cover its studio and production needs along with the broadcast rights for Euro 2024 and the Summer Olympics.
However, the afore-mentioned is only a temporal solution. The problem shall be solved from the ground up and according to the Minister of Communications and Transport, Edin Forto:
This is the first step. The second one must be the urgent appointment of the FTV management structures in the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to regulate the method of collecting the RTV tax within the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a fair manner. The third step is the adoption of a new law that will permanently regulate the stability of public services and from which all three services will have stronger support than today.
What threatens the sustainability of BHRT?
The problem lies on the distribution of the Radio and Television tax between broadcasters inside Bosnia and Herzegovina. Radio Television of the Republika Srpska (RTRS), which has had a special agreement on the collection of Radio and Television tax since 2017, does not transfer a single BAM(Bosnian currency) to BHRT.
Hence, the entity broadcaster violates Article 23 of the Law on Public RTV Service and illegally accumulates money from the RTV tax on its account that does not belong to it, leaving BHRT in the red, despite the fact that the Federal Television program depends on BHRT fulfilling its obligations.
Along with RTRS, the Radio Television of the FBiH (RTVFBiH) does not pay any funds to BHRT. In fact, BHRT rents its premises to RTVFBiH and provides it with studios, cameras and technical expertise in order to produce the program.
With RTRS and RTVFBiH collecting illegally money and BHRT being in the red, people are worrying about the worst-case scenario, a shutdown, since it can no longer perform its function.
The solution, according to BHRT, is that the Radio and Television tax money is paid into their account, and they guarantee a more equitable distribution than before.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has a long way to go before it can combat corruption within the state, become more modern, and operate in accordance with European standards.
It is also worth noticing that Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only country in the whole continent of Europe that does have a digital signal, seven years following the conclusion of the first phase of digitization.
We hope that this will be a step towards a BHRT sustainability as well as the country’s return to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Bosnia and Herzegovina at Eurovision
Due to the afore-mentioned financial burdens EBU has sanctions imposed on BHRT for failing to meet its financial obligations. Hence, the Balkan country remains absent from the contest since 2017. Meanwhile, its last participation was in 2016 with Dalal, Deen, Ana Rucner and Jala and the song “Ljubav je”. Along with the country’s last appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest up to this day, it was also Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first non qualification.
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