TWO SLOVAK media outlets are off the air. Viva radio, the successor of Radio Twist, went off the air on December 21, and TV Fooor, the youngest channel of the private Markíza, made its final broadcast on the night of December 31.
The Fooor channel was on the air for less than one year, having began on February 25, 2013.
“We are convinced that it is better to have, along with Markíza, two stronger rather than three weaker channels, either from the economic viewpoint as well as from the viewpoint of the positioning of the group,” said Markíza spokesperson Tatiana Tóthová, as cited by the strategie.sk website.
With Fooor, Markíza targeted comedy fans aged 20 to 45. In addition to its main TV station Markíza, the private broadcaster also broadcasts on channels Doma and Dajto.
Viva radio switched off due to its terminated licence. The radio station’s end was accompanied by an emotional response and a petition from its broadcasters and listeners. The Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission gave a new eight-year license for the frequencies on which Viva used to broadcast, to Corporate Legal, which plans to launch the new Info radio. According to the Trend weekly, Viva lost its license due to chaos in its ownership rights and debts, some of which went back to the time of its predecessor, Radio Twist.
In Slovakia a new radio station must first apply for frequencies distributed by the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission within eight-year licences. A station can ask for an additional eight-year extension, but afterwards it has to reapply for the frequencies.
Usually, when a station has listeners and does not violate laws, the council renews the licence. This was not the case for Viva radio, however, when actually two Vivas, Radio Viva and Viva Production House, applied for the licence. The council gave the licence to a third applicant, Corporate Legal, which has no prior experience with radio broadcasting. However, Corporate Legal can start broadcasting only after the Supreme Court decides over the case.