The Cyprus radio television authority (CRTA) has registered a budget deficit for the first time, it said on Monday.
Speaking at the House interior committee, CRTA director Neophytos Epaminondas said this was because of the closure of three channels and the consequent loss of revenue stemming from their licences.
Epaminondas further stated that the CRTA total income for the year 2022 amounted to €1,748,150, while the expenses reached €2,038,546.
“As licences are the authority’s main source of income, when stations and channels are closed down, the income decreases,” he said.
Two of channels that were shut down were owned by CyTA, and they were thematic football channels, while the other was a telemarketing one.
“The total revenue lost caused by the channels’ shutdown amounted to €154,200, and there was a payroll increase of €70,000,” Epaminondas added.
Epaminondas said that at the moment there are no submissions for new channels.
“However, new radio stations are expected to be created when the process of transition from analogue to digital is completed. As a result, new frequencies will be available.”
Furthermore, he said that the upcoming amendment of the legislation regarding the percentage of shares that can be held is likely to attract new investors in the sector.
The CRTA on Wednesday announced that it has issued fines to various local media for 43 cases of violations of regulations governing the broadcasting sector. Total fines of €97,293.00 were imposed in 29 of the 43 cases.
The cases relate to as many as 308 infringements on a number of matters concerning human rights, privacy, dignified behaviour, right of reply, dignity of gender, race, ethnicity and religion groups, discrimination towards disabled people and incitement to hatred.