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Watch the World with Us

cable, business, TV channels, Georgia

Watch the World with Us

In the beginning of 1990-ies during the last days of communist government, collapse of economy, unclear legal basis, nobody would predict that fearful attempts of starting cable TV business on the territories of post – soviet states would lead to success.

History rapidly changed governmental teams, regulations, country was in the state of hunger, disorder, unemployment, urban war, however, despite all this, the two parties have joined in a venture, which they humorously called a capcom (i.e. capitalism + communism) project, and which is commonly known in Tbilisi as “AYETY”. Great construction has started, breaking unbreakable KGB restricted areas, installing transmitters at crazy heights, making measurements from the helicopter over open missiles of Russian military bases, running cables full of multilingual information over the mountains, buildings, straight to the minds of post –soviet people, who so bravely and openly faced global community.

A slow rise of living standards of population provoked development and expansion of cable TV business as most affordable service, rather than individual satellite terminals or MMDS or other newest telecommunication technologies, which are still very expensive for the most part of audience.

Unlikely to the western markets, almost all post-soviet states stimulated rapid growth of cable TV business, which was not surprising, after the elimination of communist censorship, exceptionally strict over mass media.

Absence of regulatory basis at the beginning of market formation led to a random broadcasting of all possible TV channels that cable operator’s technical possibilities could afford. However, time went by and audience started to outline its taste, everyday burden and never-ending economic difficulties glued people to their televisions watching the world, they already had preferred channels among foreign programming that filled the cable lists of the operators.

Unfortunately, the channels were not translated and the viewers wanted not only picture, but they also wanted to understand its content.

Russian companies immediately initiated a dubbed version of the most popular foreign TV channels, like Hallmark, Eurosport, Discovery, History, etc. which increased sales immensely and stimulated growth of cable TV market share within the telecommunication infrastructure, where cable TV business became one of the leading and profitable branches. Thus, attention of the cable TV operators in Russia and in all former soviet states were unwillingly attached to Russian program suppliers, who kept themselves by signing contracts with operators and counting money. It has to be admitted that again soviet economic model where Russia concentrated, controlled and monitored their, this time, business partners, revived and is still working. Foreign TV channels were not at all willing to risk a direct partnership with unknown new partners in unstable markets of the new states.

As time passed by the new democratic changes took place and brought new provisions and restrictions to the broadcasting and retransmission spheres. Joining various Telecommunication Unions created new regulatory bodies and laws. TV channels became reviewed through the regulatory prism of accordance with international rules. The word of law became an axis all cable operators had to turn around, now regulatory bodies are united with the cable TV operators with the lawful wedlock The only misfortune of this marriage was disappearance of very interesting TV channels for the reason of not having worldwide rights. Georgian market will never reach the scale that could interest No.1 international TV Channels. We have to keep our fingers crossed that for charity reason, some of them, like Showtime Movies, Star Movies or some other international channels might send their signal and acquire license for retransmission in Georgia some day. We would like to wish also that state bodies would combine legal provisions and actual customers’ demand and assist the development of cable industry and operators.

Published: 2007-02-23
Author: Nana Namoradze

About the author or the publisher
I was eight when I first understood that I can be usefull to others as an interpreter. I have assisted an old American couple at the store, where my family happened to be for shopping.I was so happy that I helped people to understand each other, that it became mission of my life.I continue to be a peacekeeper in the family and at my work. Isn't it great to bring harmony and order around and see smiling faces in this cold and conflicting world of ours?

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