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STV2: Up for sale?

THE NUMBER of viewers of the state-run public TV channel STV 2 hit an all-time low in February 2005. STV director Richard Rybníček acknowledged the possibility of selling the channel, according to the Pravda daily.

"If some politician proposes that the channel be privatized, I see no problem with that," said Rybníček.

Branislav Záhradnik, a member of the STV management said, "We have not discussed the privatization of either STV 2 or STV 1. One of the suggested plans does envisage STV broadcasting on one frequency, but that would have to be decided by politicians."

He stressed that STV management is not currently pursuing this plan. The possibility of privatization has been raised previously.

In 2003 an unidentified client offered, through his lawyer, Sk500 million (€13.3 million) for the licence to air his own programme on STV 2.

In the fall of 2000, then-Telecommunications Minister Jozef Macejko proposed privatization as a way to solve the station's problems, but other lawmakers, who passed an amendment, thwarted the sale.

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