Bosnia and Herzegovina will soon be the only country in Europe that doesn’t have a functioning public service at a national level as the Executive Board of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian National Broadcaster (BHRT) has decided today to suspend all production of programming and broadcasting from the 30th of June due the large debts.
Last week we wrote that BHRT could risk to be excluded from all EBU services including the Eurovision Song Contest as the responding commission of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian parliament has decided not to approve BHRT’s report about realization of the planned activities and the business finance revision for the last year as well.
The Executive Board decided today to suspend all production and broadcast from the 30th of June. That decision is a direct consequence of the fact that the Bosnian politicians failed to find out how to finance the public service and collect TV licence fee in the future. BHRT relies merrily on TV licence fee, but only 50% of the Bosnian citizens actually pay the fee. As a whole organization BHRT has a debt of 25.3 million Bosnian Marks (12.8 million euros), which is split between the two Bosnian-Herzegovinian entity based public services: the Radio-Television of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (16.5 million Bosnian Marks) and Radio-Television of Republic of Srpska (8.8 million Bosnian Marks).
BHRT’s Executive Board has demanded from BHRT’s Management to cooperate closely with the managements of the entity broadcasters in order to find the solution how to overcome the present crisis as soon as possible making sure the suspension only is temporary.