Bosnia and Herzegovina‘s troubled national broadcaster BHRT will suspend broadcast operations from 30 June, as a direct result of the broadcaster’s substantial debts. This further throws into doubt future participation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Eurovision.
The BHRT management board has ruled that from 30 June, the broadcaster will suspend production and broadcast operations. This is a direct response to the broadcaster having debts of over KM 25 million (€12 million) between its two televisin networks, made up of KM 16.5 million (€8.4 million) owed by Radio-televizije Federacije BiH and KM 8.8 million (€4.5 million) owed by Radio-televizije Republike Srpske.
Part of this debt is the payment owed to the European Broadcasting Union, with the BHRT owing 16 million Swiss francs, with payment of a first installation due at the end of May.
The overall debt is a long-standing issue for the broadcaster, but the BHRT has been unable to come up with a payment solution, with further issues surrounding the television licence fee and financing of public service broadcasting.
While Romania’s TVR lost its EBU benefits due to its unpaid debt, it continues to broadcast. BHRT’s planned shutdown will leave Bosnia and Herzegovina as the only European country without a national public broadcaster.
If a solution to the debt crisis is not found soon, Bosnia and Herzegovina will again be absent from Eurovision, after narrowly missing out on qualifying after making their comeback in Stockholm.
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