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
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.