At a meeting on Wednesday, September 2, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the request of the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) to provide EUR 8.3 million in the state budget of 2021 for the exit of public media from the advertising market. This was announced by Finance Minister Jānis Reirs (New Unity) after the government meeting.
Prime Minister Krišjānis Karinņš said at a press conference after the government meeting that the government was committed to continuing its course in order for public service media to exit the advertising market in 2021.
According to the Prime Minister, substantial resources are planned for this.
The government plans to allocate EUR 8.3 million to NEPLP to ensure Latvian Television, Latvian Radio and LSM.lv exiting the advertising market in 2021. Half a million euro is planned for producing content for commercial media.
The draft government budget for 2021 is still being worked on, it has yet to be accepted by the government, and the final word will be said by the Saeima.
In the public media sector, the exit of the advertising market has been discussed for years. This is supported by both LTV and Latvian Radio management, commercial media and the Ministry of Culture and NEPLP.
In June 2018, in the second – final reading, the Saeima unanimously supported the urgent amendments to the Electronic Media Law, including the exit of public media from the advertising market from 2021. This would only happen if it has the necessary funding in the national budget.
Public media plans to direct funding to new content, tax and copyright payments, investments and maintenance, previously covered by advertising revenue.