|Petr Dvořák (Director-General)|
|1 January 1992|
Czech Television (Czech: Česká televize [ˈtʃɛskaː ˈtɛlɛvɪzɛ]; abbreviation: ČT) is a public television broadcaster in the Czech Republic, broadcasting seven channels. Established after breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1992, it is the successor to Czechoslovak Television founded in 1953.
Founded on 1 May 1953, Czechoslovak Television (ČST) was the state television broadcaster of Czechoslovakia used as a state propaganda medium of the then socialist state. It was known by three names over its lifetime: Czech: Československá televize, Slovak: Československá televízia (until 1990) and Česko-slovenská televízia (from 1990 until 1992).
ČST originally consisted of a single channel and limited experimental broadcasting in 1953. Regular broadcasts began on 25 February 1954 and on 10 May 1970, a second channel was launched. The broadcast language of ČST was predominantly Czech in the first channel, Slovak for selected programming, and both for news. The second channel was split into two, broadcasting various "national" language programming in the two parts of the country.
The main headquarters of ČST was located in Prague, but it also had main studios in Bratislava, Košice, Ostrava and Brno.
The first public broadcasting was a short performance by František Filipovský (1907–1993) on 1 May 1953. On 11 February 1955, the first live broadcast was made, an ice hockey match from Prague. Like all other media in communist Czechoslovakia, the station was subject to heavy censorship. However, as part of the process of social liberation in 1968, ČST aired broadcasts about the Prague Spring for a few days. However, in 1969, it became part of the normalisation efforts of the national media.
On 10 May 1970, Czechoslovak Television began broadcasting a second channel, ČST TV2. Further technical improvements were made on 9 May 1973, when the first regular broadcasts in colour started on TV2, followed two years later by colour transmission on the first channel as well.
At the end of the decade, in 1979, a building and a studio based in Prague's Kavčí hory was opened, which became the home of ČST's news department.
After November 1989, lineup changes were made, with the first channel being renamed F1 for the federal district, and the second channel being split into the Czech ČTV and the Slovak S1, the first such division of channels by ČST. A third channel for Czech audiences, previously used by Soviet broadcasting, was launched on 14 May 1990, called OK3 (Czech: Otevřený kanál tři, English: Open Channel three). A replacement channel for Slovak audiences called TA3 was created on 6 June 1991 (broadcasting from August 1991 until July 1992).
During the Velvet Revolution, ČST staff very quickly joined the side of the protesters and allowed them to spread important messages and broadcasts of the demonstrations.
ČST ended its broadcast with the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia at the end of 1992, with two public television stations established in its place: Česká televize and Slovenská televízia, both successors of ČST. ČST disappeared along with Czechoslovakia on 31 December 1992.
Czech Television was established by the Czech Television Act of the Czech National Council (Act No. 483/1991 Coll.) on 1 January 1992, as a public television service for the citizens of the Czech Republic, with property transferred from Czechoslovak Television. Czech Television was established 1 January 1992 as a successor to Czechoslovak Television. It is based on Czech Television Act (Act No. 483/1991 Coll.) as a television service for the citizens of the Czech Republic.
On 1 January 1993, a new concept of channels broadcast by Czech Television was introduced, which were renamed to ČT1 (formerly ČTV), ČT2 (formerly F1), and ČT3 (formerly OK3). On 3 February 1994, Czech Television freed one of the nationwide broadcast channels in accordance with the law; starting 4 February 1994 Czech Television was left with two channels, ČT1 and ČT2.
In 2005, news channel ČT24 and the following year ČT Sport were launched and on 1 October 2005 logos were rebranded. In 2013, the broadcaster added two new channels, ČT :D (children's) and ČT art (arts/culture). In April 2020, ČT3 was relaunched this time targeting the older generation / elderly. It was discontinued on 1 January 2023.
Main article: Czech TV crisis
The "Czech TV crisis" occurred at the end of 2000 and lasted until early 2001 as a battle for control of the airwaves, which included jamming and accusations of censorship. During the Czech TV crisis, Czech TV reporters organized an industrial dispute by staging a sit-in and occupying the news studio and rejected attempts by Jana Bobošíková to fire them. They were supported in their protest by politicians such as the then President Václav Havel (1936–2011) and by Czech celebrities, but every time they tried to air their news broadcasts, Bobošíková and Jiří Hodač would jam the transmission either with a "technical fault" screen reading: "An unauthorized signal has entered this transmitter. Broadcasting will resume in a few minutes", or with their own news broadcasts featuring Jana Bobošíková and a team she had hired to "replace" the staff members she had sought to terminate.
The Czech TV crisis eventually ended in early 2001, following the departure from Czech TV of Hodač and Bobošíková, under pressure by the street demonstration participants and at the request of the Czech Parliament, which had held an emergency session due to the crisis.
|Logo||Type of programming|
|ČT1 is a generalist channel, showing family-oriented television, Czech movies, children's programming, news and documentaries. ČT1 HD is the high-definition version of ČT1. Previously HD programming was shown on ČT HD, covering ČT1, ČT2 and ČT4.|
|ČT2 broadcasts documentaries and nature-oriented shows such as documentary films by David Attenborough. This channel also frequently shows foreign films in the original versions with Czech subtitles, including many English-language movies. ČT2 HD is the high-definition version of ČT2.|
|ČT24 is the Czech Republic's first and only 24-hour news channel, provides news and information around the clock with bulletins every hour. ČT24 is broadcast live over the Internet, as well as over the satellites Astra 3A, Astra 1KR and Intelsat 10-02. It is also carried on Czech cable-TV providers and digital terrestrial services.|
|ČT Sport (previously ČT4 Sport and ČT4) is a sports channel, it broadcasts live over the satellites Astra 3A, Astra 1KR and Intelsat 10-02. It is also carried on Czech cable-TV providers and digital terrestrial services. Broadcasts parts of major world, European, and Czech sports events (i.e. Olympic Games, World Cups or European Championships) are broadcast here. ČT Sport HD is the high-definition version of ČT Sport, launched on 3 May 2012 and replaced ČT HD.|
|ČT Déčko is a children's channel designed for young viewers 4 to 12 years of age and was launched on 31 August 2013. ČT Déčko broadcasts from 6am to 8pm, and shares its frequency with cultural channel ČT art which uses the remaining hours.|
|ČT art is an arts and culture channel launched on 31 August 2013. ČT art broadcasts from 8pm to 6am, and shares its frequency with children's channel ČT Déčko which uses the remaining hours.|
|Logo||Type of programming|
ČT HD was the high-definition channel from ČT, broadcasting programmes from ČT1, ČT2 and ČT Sport. On March 1, 2012, the channel was transformed into ČT1 HD, ČT2 HD, ČT sport HD. From 15 November also on satellite ČT24 HD, ČT art HD, ČT :D HD.
|ČT3 broadcast programs, shows and old Czech and Slovak-produced movies. This channel was launched in April 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to help older generations cope with isolation. It was shut down on 1 January 2023.|
Within the framework of television operates two television studios. Television studio Brno is based in the second-largest city in Czech Republic and was founded in 1961. The second studio is based in Ostrava and was founded in 1955. In the year 2001, the Czech government stated that TV studios have to contribute to television production in the range of at least 20% share in national television broadcasting and at least 25 minutes of regional news coverage in their area of competence.
Czech Television is well known for its wide contributions to many charities. They are mainly raising money by broadcasting many beneficial programmes. As an example, every year Czech television is broadcasting a beneficial evening of well known Czech charity organization "Centrum Paraple" where various artists perform their mostly musical performances. Centrum Paraple is an organization which focuses on helping people with physical handicaps.
Czech Television is creating and broadcasting various educational and awareness-raising programs intended for various age and interest groups. Czech television also cooperates with various domestic high schools and universities. For example, this includes, the provision of methodological worksheets, which are complementary to audiovisual demonstrations of television programs. Regarding universities, Czech television organizes program "ČT start" which offers various workshops or even job opportunities for students who are in their final year.
Since 1993 Czech television is a member of European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which is the largest professional association of national broadcasters in the world and brings together over 70 active members from more than fifty countries in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East and other associate members from around the world.
Czech Television is funded through television concession fees which are paid by all households and legal entities that own a television or any form television signal receiver. Concession fees are currently set to 135 Kč per month (around €5) since 2008 and due to persistent positive inflation their real value is declining each year. On top of that, the total number of receivers has declined by 88 thousand from 2010 to 2020 and thus reduced annual income by 143 mil. Kč. Television fees are the main source of funding for Czech Television and are used primarily for production and broadcasting programs. They amount more than 90% of television income according to the budget estimate on Y2020. Additional income is earned through advertising where it is less successful than commercial television stations, because it is restricted by law and revenue from other business activities (product placement. selling rights to content, sponsoring etc.). During 2004 and 2005 the organisation lobbied the Czech government to increase the licence fee so that advertising could be eliminated, but even after multiple increasements advertising still remain on some channels with certain limitations.
Because of the decreasing amount of payers and real fee value Czech Television responds to this by making the most of the opportunities offered by legislation to identify both individuals and legal entities who are not paying the television fee. Czech legislation is allowing Czech Television to use databases of energy suppliers to identify all households which are consuming electricity and thus potentially could own a television. Persons or households detected by this system are taken as feepayer unless they make a claim that they are not by sending affidavit. In the event of revelation, the black listener is obliged to pay, in addition to the fees due, a surcharge of 10,000 for an unreported television. Addressing unregistered feepayers is associated with the cost of sending letters and higher the need for call center operators, but the television is able to collect through this method additional tens of millions.
Media occasionally raise questions about how much Czech Television is able to withstand pressure both from the governing parties and the opposition and maintain unbiased and critical coverage of politics. Most criticisms are from left-wing and nationalist parties and groups. In a long struggle with ČT is also the former president of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman, who in 2018 unofficially suggested creating a possibility for citizens who disagree with ČT to divert the compulsory television licence fee towards charitable and social programs. Because of perceived bias against Zeman and anti-leftist stances, some left-wing legislators (Jaroslav Foldyna and others) said they will vote against the annual report of ČT until all financial connections of ČT will be revealed. In 2013 information about incomes and salaries of ČT official Karel Burian, director of Brno ČT was publicly revealed, showing him having earned nearly 2 million CZK (about 80,000 USD) in the first half of 2011, which is much more than top Czech politicians, including more than the Prime Minister or the President of the Czech Republic.
The Act on Czech Television precisely sets the limits that Czech Television has in obtaining revenues from the sale of advertising. The law stipulates that: On ČT2 and ČT sport, advertising time may not exceed 0.5% of the daily broadcast time on each from these programs (i.e. max. 7 min and 12 sec per day), while the broadcast of advertisements may not in time from 7 pm to 10 pm exceed 6 minutes during one broadcast hour on each of these programs.
On the ČT1 and ČT24 programs, advertising may not be included in the broadcast at all, with the exception of advertising included in the broadcast of a program that is in direct connection with a cultural or sports broadcast events, if the broadcasting of such advertising is a necessary condition for the acquisition of television broadcasting rights cultural or sporting events. If an ad is included, the ad time is limited as well as on the ČT2 and ČT sport programs (ie for 7 min and 12 sec per day).
As with their acquisition, as well as the use of funds obtained from advertising, Czech Television is restricted by Act No. 302/2011 Coll.: On a quarterly basis, Czech Television transfers the revenue from advertising broadcast on the ČT2 program to the State Fund culture of the Czech Republic. Czech Television deducts the proven costs associated with the sale of advertising from the revenue.
Revenues from advertising broadcasting on the ČT sport program are used by Czech Television for production and broadcasting sports programs. Teleshopping is completely banned on Czech Television. These restrictions do not apply to product placement, which is used in own creation.
The current General Manager of Czech Television is Petr Dvořák, who was elected for a six-year term by the Czech Television Council (Rada České televize) in September 2011 and re-elected in 2017. Dvorak has courted some controversy in his tenure given his previous membership in the communist party, similar to his predecessor Jiří Janeček However, in contrast to his predecessor, Dvořák had relatively little experience in public service broadcasting, with less than a decade of prior experience as the CEO of commercial TV station Nova, under the direction of major shareholder PPF Group, serving as his only media experience. Since departing from Nova and CME, PPF has acquired a controlling interest in the station from American conglomerate AT&T.
Czech television is one of the major employers in the area of film and art in the Czech Republic with 3005 employees to date 31.12.2019.
Czech Television Council is a supervisory authority of Czech Television. The ČT Council has fifteen members elected and removed by the Chamber of Deputies so that important regional, political, social and cultural currents of opinion are represented in it. The members of the Board are elected for a term of office of 6 years, with one-third of the members being elected every 2 years; they may be re-elected. Powers of the Czech Television Council are defined by law of Czech Television and the important powers are:
The Czech Television Council manages according to its own budget, the costs of the Council's activities and the remuneration of its members, as well as the costs of the Supervisory Board's activities and the remuneration of its members are paid from a special expenditure item in the Czech Television budget.
The startup and shutdown sequence of ČST (in Czech).
ČST's original logo from 1963 to 1969
ČST's second logo from 1969 to 1975
Color logo of ČST from 1969 to 1993
Logo in 1993
Logo in 1997
Logo in 2011
Logo in 2012
Czech Television continued to use the corporate logo of Czechoslovak Television after 1992, so the logo was in use for 59 years from 1 May 1953 to 30 September 2012.