IREX.com-“Networking of the Serbian language televisions will strengthen our television audience and thus our productivity. This is especially important for the Serbian community in Kosovo because through our network they will be better informed about local issues.” – Nenad Radosavljevic, Executive Director, TV Mir.
Together the four stations involved in the TV Mreza network–TV Mir (Leposavic) and TV Most (Zvecan) in north Kosovo with TV Herc (Strpce) and TV Puls (Silovo) in the south–cover 80% of the Kosovo ’s Serbian population. Part of being in the network means that each of the stations has increased its production of local news and cover issues of concern to their communities such as education, decentralization, infrastructure problems, politics, youth, and more. With a hub based in Calgavica just outside of Kosovo’s capital Pristina, these stations’ viewers will finally be able to receive information from all the Serbian communities around Kosovo and news about Kosovo from Kosovo itself rather than relying on the Belgrade-centric news they receive through rebroadcasts from RTS and B92.
The network uses a virtual private network (VPN), built by Kosovo internet service provider Kujtesa, and Streambox technology to connect with each other to exchange both live and recorded videos. Through the network, the stations will be able to do more than provide information for their viewers: Because of the added appeal each station now has, they will gain more viewers, especially among the Serbian communities, and become more attractive to both national and international advertisers. Placing ad campaigns with a stand alone local television station will not gain an advertiser much business; however, being able place the same campaign on a network opens up a much larger audience without the advertiser having to put forward anymore work.
Serbian people have not always had access to news and video in their own language, as they populate only 7% of Kosovo. The Serbian-speaking population is spread throughout different parts of the country and cannot receive news from other Serbian communities. Now, using Streambox technology to connect multiple television stations, the Serbian Mreza network will be able to share stories and video from distant areas of Kosovo in their own language. With this new video sharing system, Serbian viewers in Kosovo will have access to more news and video from different communities and stay more informed on important issues.
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