RealTime IT News

Czech Public TV Starts Broadcasting Over the Internet

Public service television station Czech TV (CTV)has started to broadcast its news and other programming via Internet regularly since March 20.

CTV news is available live in the real time on the Internet, and then archived for future access. Broadcasting is based on the Real Networks technology. The quality of the received signal is automatically adjusted according to the capabilities of connection.

The Internet broadcasting of CTV is of minimal importance inside the Czech Republic itself, because inside the country it is cheaper to watch the TV normally. To Czechs living abroad, on the other hand, it offers in-language news from home.

Meanwhile, the station has received criticism in the Czech Republic for the webcast -- under Czech law, the public service TV is paid from fees collected from all residents who own a TV set in the country. Thus, some politicians and many locals feel that they are subsidizing for a service that is now free to the audience abroad.

CTV says it doesn't expect to extend its Internet broadcasting to full coverage of its programming scheme, not just because of political pressure but also due to potential legal consequences. The reason is simple: CTV doesn't own the rights for international broadcasting of a large part of its programming, i.e. for foreign movies, dramatic series, etc. The rights that CTV purchased apply for local broadcasting only, not for worldwide access.

Another Czech TV station, the privately-owned Nova TV, previously broadcast online all its programming schedule -- with both local and otherwise -- from January to February.

On February 18, Nova TV was forced by the copyright owners to stop the unlimited broadcasting, since it had allegedly used the copyrighted material without permission. At the moment, Nova's webcast is limited to its own programming -- a parameter which CTV is also following.