Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic commented N1TV programme and its viewership on Wednesday, saying that it could hardly reach one percent of total viewership, N1 reported.
He recalled that Predrag Culibrk, Telekom Serbia CEO, offered to United Media to allow N1 TV free distribution via its cable operators „while the negotiations (between United Media and Telekom) are underway.“
The offer came after almost two weeks of silence following United Media public offer to Telekom Serbia for the distribution of N1 TV channel at the price of 0.4 Euro per subscriber, which Telekom described as a „racketeering.“
In the meantime, Telkom refused to publicise contracts with prices it paid to other TV channels for distributing them via its network.
However, Vucic on Wednesday compared the audience of the cable N1 with that of TVs with national frequency – a totally different things – and told pro-regime Pink TV that „this morning, Pink was on 19 percent, (public broadcaster ( RTS on 17, Prva TV on 14 or 13, Happy on 7, O2 (renamed B92 four days ago) on 304 percent, while N1 is on one or less. So, people don’t want to watch it.“
But the measurements by TV Beat on networks where N1 could be seen showed it was the fourth out of all TV channels in Serbia with 5.8 percent participation in the viewership, and in front of three TVs with national frequency: Happy, O2 and RTS 2 in December 2019.
The results of the Nilsen agency for the same month showed that out of all TVs in Serbia, N1 was at the eighth place. Still, when the cable channels were measured, N1 was the second, behind Nickelodeon, an American pay television network.
There was also an issue of coverage, which the President noticed as well.
„And if you say that they (N1) has only 55 percent of visibility, although they could have a 100 percent what had been offered to them, but they didn’t want… That means it would be under two percent,“ Vucic said.
N1 management sees the difference between the 100 percent visibility and national frequency, especially since total coverage has been offered for free via Telekom cable system only temporary.
„N1 TV wishes to be visible in every household in Serbia. But no cable TV channel can give its programme for free, because that would jeopardise its existence. In that context, N1 is interested in national frequency. If it got it, every distributor could broadcast N1 for free in the whole of Serbia, “ N1 TV management said.“
And only then, as a national broadcaster, N1 TV’s viewership could be compared to other TVs with national frequency.