Television in Ukraine

Television has a long history in Ukraine, with regular television broadcasting started during the former USSR years in 1951. However the first ever TV broadcast took place on the 1st February 1939 in Kyiv. Since then TV broadcasting has expanded, particularly after the fall of Communism in 1989, and now there are many different channels and groups in the Ukrainian TV market.


The first official broadcast took place in Kyiv on 1 February 1939.[1] It was 40 minutes long and showed the portrait of Sergo Ordzhonikidze.[1] After World War II, on 6 November 1951, a Kyiv tele-centre made a debut with a live broadcasting of the patriotic movie "The Great Glow".[1] Next day the telecentre went on air again by broadcasting the solemn measures of celebrating the 34th anniversary of the October Revolution.[1]

On 1 May 1952, a concert went on air (shot in the small and only pavilion of the telecentre known as "Studio B") of Ukrainian singers, soloists of the Kyiv Taras Shevchenko Opera Theater.[1] The anchorwoman of the concert was the Kyiv Telecentre's first announcer - Novela Separionova. In 1953, the construction of the building of the Kyiv Telecentre on Khreshchatyk was completed,[1] right after the finishing of the Moscow and Leningrad Telecentres. Regular programs started to go on air in 1956.[1] Until that year, the Telecentre went on air twice a day showing feature films or documentaries.[1] Live broadcasting was the only form of broadcasting.[1] Recording video became usual in the mid-1960s.[1]

The first regular national channel appeared on January 20, 1965 under the name UT-1 (Ukrainian television - 1, today - Pershyi National), while on March 6, 1972 a second channel, UT-2, was created.[1] In 1983, the new telecenter started to be built at the 42 Melnyk Street, which was opened after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1993.[1]

After the Orange Revolution, Ukrainian television became more free.[2] In February 2009 the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting claimed that "political pressure on mass media increased in recent times through amending laws and other normative acts to strengthen influence on mass media and regulatory bodies in this sphere".[3]

As of January 2009, Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko refused to appear in Inter TV-programmes "until journalists, management and owners of the TV channel stop destroying the freedom of speech and until they remember the essence of their profession - honesty, objectiveness, and unbiased stand".[4]

In early March 2014, Crimea removed Ukraine-based TV channels ahead of its Russian annexation referendum.[5] Later that month, the Ukrainian National Council for TV and Radio Broadcasting ordered measures against some Russian TV channels which were accused of broadcasting misleading information about Ukraine.[6][7] In February 2015 the law "On protection information television and radio space of Ukraine," banned the showing (on Ukrainian television) of "audiovisual works" that contain "popularization, propaganda, propaganda, any action of law enforcement agencies, armed forces, other military, military or security forces of an invader" was enacted.[8] One year later Russian productions (on Ukrainian television) had decreased by 3 to 4 (times).[8] 15 more Russian TV channels were banned in March 2016.[9]

Digital television

In 2007 and 2008, experimental DVB-T broadcasts of few channels started in Kyiv and Odesa. Those turned out to be successful. Yet the DTT National Program is not approved by the government, thus the process is stuck. Because there are two versions of the program submitted: from the Ministry of Transport and Communications as well as from the State Committee of Television and Radio, there is no particular progress in 2008.

On 26 November 2008, the National Program of the Ministry was approved, but the final version and the public announcement of this fact is still on hold. Current version of the program does not take into notice any kind of Government financing, and the budget is to be private only, which will highly affect the TV industry and commercial broadcasters.

Besides there are 3rd parties, such as Television Industry Committee and National Association of Broadcasters which represent the communities of National and regional broadcasters respectively. Both organizations help the switchover not to affect the business of over 20 National and over 150 regional broadcasters.

The International Forum 'Digital Broadcasting in Ukraine' is the annual event that takes place in Kyiv, Ukraine. Its mission is to gather the most of international consultants and Ukrainian specialists to solve industry's problems in the DTT field. In 2008 the 2nd International Forum took place in Kyiv also. BBC, Deloitte and the Ministry of Communications of Finland representatives share the vision of possible plan of DTT implementation in Ukraine, delivering the best experiences from UK, Finland, France and US. Still none was taken into notice yet. It is now confirmed[10][11] that Ukraine's national terrestrial TV network, which is scheduled to be launched in September 2011, will use the DVB-T2 standard for all four nationwide FTA multiplexes, for both SD and HD broadcasts. Before settling for DVB-T2, Ukraine was testing both DVB-T/MPEG-2 and DVB-T/MPEG-4 options, and some experimental transmitters operating in those standards are still live.

Other technologies

Commercial MMDS digital TV services work in Kyiv and some other cities.

DVB-C services delivering premium channels (in addition to standard analogue channels) launched in cable networks of Kyiv, Odesa, Kremenchuk, Poltava, Donetsk and some other cities.

Most-viewed channels

Audience share (age 4 and older), December 2015:[12]

Position Channel Group Share of total viewing (%)
1 Inter Inter Media Group 13.07%
2 1+1 1+1 Media 11.63%
3 Channel Ukraine Media Group Ukraine 9.20%
4 STB StarLightMedia 8.75%
5 ICTV StarLightMedia 6.45%
6 New channel StarLightMedia 5.35%
7 NTN Inter Media Group 4.03%
8 TET 1+1 Media 3.46%
9 2+2 1+1 Media 2.29%
10 PLUSPLUS 1+1 Media 2.07%

List of channels

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Terrestrial channels

Channel Owner Established Website
Inter Inter Media Group 1996
Kanal Ukrayina Media Group Ukraine 1993
1+1 1+1 media 1995
NTN Inter Media Group 2004
K1 Inter Media Group 2005
Pershyi Digital National Television Company of Ukraine 1937/1956
ICTV StarLightMedia 1992
Enter-Film Inter Media Group 2001
Channel Owner Established Website
Zoom Inter Media Group 2007
Indigo TV[13] Media Group Ukraine 2014
STB StarLightMedia 1997
TET 1+1 media 1992
K2 Inter Media Group 2005
Novyi kanal StarLightMedia 1998
M1 StarLightMedia 2001
5 kanal Petro Poroshenko 2003
Channel Owner Established Website
Mega Inter Media Group 2005
Pixel TV Inter Media Group 2012
XSPORT Boris Kolesnikov 2012
NLO TV Media Group Ukraine 2012
2+2 1+1 media 2006
ZIK Petro Dyminskyi 2010
Espreso TV[14] Ludmyla Knjazhytska 2013
Business Alexander Yanukovich [15] 2007
Channel Owner Established Website
Tonis Alexander Yanukovich 1989
Kultura[16] National Television Company of Ukraine 2003
Vintage 1st Ukrainian Radio Group [17] 2012
Eskulap Media Group Ukraine [18][19] 2012
Regional Television National Television Company of Ukraine
Local TV 1 /or/ 112 Ukrayina Andriy Podshchipkov 2013
Local TV 2
Local TV 3

Satellite and cable




Society criticise Ukrainian television, mainly a number of central channels for the presence of a big amount of Russian origin content. According to calculations of "Boycott Russian Films" activists, in September 2014 amount of Russian TV-production on the leading Ukrainian channels ("Ukrayina", "ICTV", "NTN", "Novyi Kanal", "Inter", "STB", "2+2", "TET", "K1", "1+1") took approximately 40%. In October and December activists noticed increasing of amounts of Russian content on this channels.

Also activists criticise Ukrainian channels for their language policy. In October 2014 activists have published statistics of content's language of Ukrainian channels. According to it there are 29% of completely Ukrainian language content, 39.3% of completely Russian language content, 23.5% of Russian language content with Ukrainian subtitles and 8.2% of bilingual content (both Ukrainian and Russian).

See also



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