Russia’s OTR public TV network is appealing for more voluntary cash from viewers. “Russian Public TV needs help so that the channel’s broadcasting can continue its existence and we can create new important projects,” the TV channel’s press service told viewers, and reported by BBC Monitoring.
It said that the collection of donations to support the TV channel’s operation had been launched on its website. “There are no breaks for advertising in Public TV broadcasts. We are not a commercial TV channel and we need support. Only with the help of people who care can we create more interesting TV projects and show more feature films and unique documentaries,” the station said.
The idea of launching public TV in Russia came from [current Prime Minister] Dmitriy Medvedev, who was Russian president at the time. In May 2013, the channel officially launched its broadcasting as part of the first multiplex in cable, satellite and digital terrestrial television in Russia and the CIS.
Last year, OTR director-general Anatoliy Lysenko said the TV channel’s annual budget was insufficient for full-scale operation. For his part, Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Mass Communications Aleksey Volin said the government would not allocate extra funds for the channel and suggested it should take out a loan, which it did. Early this year Lysenko said he would have to cut staff to stay within the allocated funding.