February 03, 2012
Latvian State Television (Latvijas Televīzija, or LTV) is testing a new channel aimed at Latvians abroad, the head of the service told a radio audience on Jan. 2.
Appearing on Latvian Radio’s “Krustpunktā” program, LTV Director General Edgars Kots said the new channel will be a subscription service available for viewing over the Internet.
The new LTV3 is being created in cooperation with the telecommunications company Lattelecom and could become available in two to three months, Kots told the radio audience. LTV3 will run 24 hours a day, repeating a block of programming.
LTV currently has two over-the-air national channels, LTV1 and LTV7, that can be seen in Latvia. LTV is the main channel and carries national cultural and news programming. LTV7 focuses on sports and feature films.
Several of LTV’s homegrown shows are available either live or in archived versions via the Internet, for example, the cultural program “100g kultūras” or the nightly news “Panorāma” program. However, because of licensing and copyright agreements, a number of programs are not available, including sports programming and even LTV’s new soap opera, “Eņģelu māja.”
Within Latvia both channels can be seen by live through Lattelecom.
LTV’s main competitors are Latvian Independent Television (Latvijas Neatkarīgā televīzija, or LNT) and TV3.
LNT makes some of its material available to Internet audience at www.lnt.lv/lv/video, but also restricts access to some shows, such as its own new soap opera, “Tikai nesaki man Bizu.”
TV3 provides its Internet audience with access to shows at www.tv3play.lv, but those can only be viewed on computers with IP addresses within Latvia.
Kots also told the “Krustpunktā” audience that state television’s news website ltvzinas.lv will be improved in the months to come.
Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000-2012 he was editor of the website.