The Funding and the Ratings of Georgian Public Broadcaster after Three Years of Announced Reform

News | Good Governance | Media, Internet and Innovations | Analysis 9 September 2020

IDFI requested public information about the expenses, income, ratings, amount of remuneration and number of employees of Georgia Public Broadcaster. Simultaneously, data from the open sources covering the research period was analyzed, including, public procurement expenses related to the new building of the Broadcaster, reports on budget execution, incomes presented to the Georgian National Communications Commission. Annual ratings of the GPB were calculated based on the weekly ratings published on the webpage of TVMR Georgia. TVMR Georgia supported us with ratings of specific TV shows.

 

Main Findings 

 

- The funding of the GPB from the state budget increases annually. After taking a loan, compared to 2018, the confirmed budget of the Broadcaster in 2019 increased by 93%, reaching GEL 96 million 970 thousand.

 

- The loan was intended for technical improvement, however the Broadcaster did not manage to execute it in 2019. GEL 7 million from the 2020 state budget is a service fee for unspent loan.

 

- Construction of the GPB’s new building should have been completed in 2020, yet accepting the proposals will start in September, 2020. According to the auction terms of the current building, the Broadcaster is planning to move into the new building in 2023.

 

- GPB does not disclose information either on its annual ratings, or ratings of the precise TV shows.

 

- According to the calculation based on the TVMR weekly ratings, audience share of the GPB in 2019 amounted to 5.5%.

 

- The most expensive TV shows of 2019 were “MasterChef” and “Gerogian Idol”. Same TV shows gained the highest ratings, respectively - 8.91% and 8.60%.

 

- The Broadcaster has not approved the staff list yet, which creates an unstable environment for the employees.

 

Main Challenges

 

During 2017-2019 GPB has spent approximately GEL 14 million for the capital costs. Analyses of the Broadcaster’s activities in this time period identified the following issues:

 

- Georgian Public Broadcaster’s plan to increase its ratings to 15% by 2019 is not accomplished. 

 

- The insignificant rating increase during 2018-2019 was mostly caused by the new projects and mega shows launched on the broadcaster. However, considering the legally determined role of the GPB, it is questionable whether these projects serve the purpose of public good. 

 

- GPB does not disclose information either on its annual ratings, or ratings of the precise TV shows, although both fit into the category of public information.

 

Recommendations

 

- It is crucial that the board and the new general director clearly define the priorities of the broadcaster, in accordance to law.


- The management of the broadcaster have to take into consideration a high public interest towards the broadcaster and provide a proactive availability of important information regarding the Broadcaster.

 

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The study was prepared within the grant for Good Governance for Georgia (3G) project from the global philanthropic organization, Luminate. The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) is responsible for the content of this analysis. Views expressed in therein do not reflect the position of Luminate.

 

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