Bosnia’s state-owned BH Telecom to drop N1

Source: N1

Hundreds of thousands of viewers who watched the N1 TV program over the past years via BH Telecom’s Moja TV platform could lose the opportunity to watch the recognizable content of the news television N1 in the next two days, and they will be deprived of election debates and election night programme on N1.

N1 is CNN’s exclusive partner for BiH and the region, it is the current record holder for the number of live shows, and the journalists of N1 BiH are the winners of numerous domestic and international awards for quality and professional work.

 

The contract between the United Media company, as the owner of N1 television, and the public company BH Telecom expires on August 31, and negotiations on extending the contract are coming to an unsuccessful end. This means that BH Telecom subscribers will not be able to watch Novi Dan, Newsroom, Dan Uzivo, Dnevnik, Pressing, Izvan Okvira and numerous other contents that are at the top of the viewership on all platforms where N1 television is present, as evidenced by transparent viewership data according to TvBeat measurement. N1 is not only the most watched news television but also the most watched cable channel. All this indicates that BH Telecom’s decision to turn off the N1 signal is not based on business, but on politics.

 

BH Telecom management’s announcement that it will drop N1 from its cable TV offer comes at a time before the start of the General Elections campaign in BiH, which raises many doubts and especially questions about who and why they are interfering with the freedom and independence of N1 television. Of particular importance is the fact that the management of BH Telecom are high-ranking members of the ruling Democratic Action Party (SDA) and the current general manager of BH Telecom, Sedin Kahriman, is also the president of SDA Sarajevo’s cantonal board. He is a close associate of party leader Bakir Izetbegovic and his wife Sebija.

 

As N1 previously announced, BH Telecom plans to turn off the signal of Sport Klub, a television station also owned by United Media, from September 1, which will leave the audience without the opportunity to watch the BiH national basketball team’s matches at the European Championship, which begins on September 1, their historic performance at the World Basketball Championship, which starts on September 22, the qualification matches for the World Basketball Championship, as well as numerous other important sports events for which Sport Klub has exclusive rights.

 

A few months ago, BH Telecom significantly raised the prices for subscribers to use the Moja TV platform, justifying it by paying for the right to download television content, so the announcement of the cancellation of N1, Sport Klub and other United Media channels, in addition to the already reduced price of United Media’s channel package, with an additional request for an even higher price reduction, is difficult to explain.

 

While planning to switch off the signal of the independent international television station N1, which employs 100 media professionals in BiH alone, BH Telecom is adding Telekom Serbia’s channels, owned by the Serbian state, to its cable offer, for which it allocates millions.

 

Only 48 hours are left for the management of the public company BH Telecom to change its decision in the interest of the BiH public and its subscribers and allow them to watch N1 and Sport Klub.

 

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