Tuesday, April 20, 2004

RTL – Disappointment in the Making?

One of the most awaited events in the history of Croatian media – start of new national TV station owned by RTL – is slowly turning into one major disappointment.

Most of Croatian expected that the events following the sale of Croatian state television's third channel would go smoothly. RTL Croatia (or HRTL, as it was supposed to be known) was supposed to start airing on January 1st 2004.

But on January 1st HRT 3 continued to operate like nothing had happened. Apparently, RTL Croatia failed to finish technical and logistic operations for taking over frequency. That allowed HRT 3 three more months to phase out its programme and replace it with satellite/cable channel known as HRT Plus.

HRT Plus started operating yesterday. Programme is so far not very attractive and it represents combination of pop music concerts and regional news.

In the meantime, HRTL, which changed its name into RTL Televizija, still didn't finished paperwork. The programme was supposed to replace HRT 3 on April 1st. This didn't happen.

The latest reports mention April 30th as the date when RTL Televizija should start airing.

But when Croatian public finally sees the programme, it might realise that all that wait was for nothing. Details of RTL future programme, leaked to Jutarnji list, show that the most attractive American and other foreign TV shows had been already poached by HRT and Nova TV. RTL is left with second class material like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and TV shows produced in Germany.


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