Georgian Public Broadcaster
|Type||Broadcast television and online|
|Owner||President of Georgia|
Georgian Public Broadcaster (Georgian საქართველოს საზოგადოებრივი მაუწყებელი, sakartvelos sazogadoebrivi mauts'q'ebeli) is the national public broadcaster of Georgia. It started broadcasting radio in 1925, and Georgian TV started broadcasting in 1956. Today, 85% of the Georgian population receive the First Channel, and 55% receive the Second Channel. Georgian TV's programmes are also received by satellite and over the Internet in a number of European and Asian countries.
The adoption of Law on Broadcasting in 2004, started the process of transformation of Georgian TV from being a state broadcaster into a public broadcaster. In 2005 the Georgian Parliament elected a Board of Governors, composed of nine members. One of them, Tamar Kintsurashvili, from Liberty Institute, was later elected as the first Director General of GPB. Levan Qubaneishvili is the current occupant of this position.
GPB's First Channel (პირველი არხი, p'irveli arkhi) broadcasts both its own original programming and also foreign series and movies. As of August 2009, the First Channel programming includes such shows as the following:
- მოამბე moambe ("The Narrator") — a news program shown several times each day.
- Syndicated foreign shows such as The O.C., Las Vegas, and Veronica Mars.
GPB's Second Channel broadcasts since 1991.
A controversy arose in early 2009 over a GPB television program, Sakartvelos Didi Ateuli (საქართველოს დიდი ათეული; "Best Georgians" or "Georgia's Top Ten") — a show which invited viewers to pick Georgia's top historical personages. Officials of the Georgian Orthodox Church publicly objected to the inclusion of both religious and secular figures in the competition, as well as to the idea of having viewers rank the popularity of saints. After extensive public debate and private deliberation, GPB announced that Didi Ateuli would proceed, with both saints and secular figures retained in the competition, but that the final list of ten would not be ranked but would be announced in alphabetical order. A later statement released by the Georgian Orthodox Church attempted to downplay the controversy and suggested that it had been an effort to dissuade church officials from speaking out on social issues.
Georgia's entry in the 2009 Eurovision song contest — "We Don't Wanna Put In" — was deemed to be a political statement against Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, and the song was disqualified from the competition. After GPB officials rejected a demand to change either the lyrics of the song or the song itself, it withdrew from the contest.
Georgian Public Broadcaster previously operated the now-closed international shortwave radio station Radio Georgia.
- "Controversial TV Show Continues", Georgia Today, January 23–29, 2009.
- "Public TV Changes Show Format to Allay Controversy", civil.ge, January 23, 2009.