Latvian DTT scandal resurfaces

By Chris Dziadul
March 16, 2010 07.32 UK

The Riga Regional Court has ordered the seizure of shares in the TV stations LNT and TV5 currently held by Andrejs Ekis.

DB reports that the shares are in a joint-stock company named National Independent Media (NNM), which only last week acquired LNT and TV5 from Rupert Murdochís News Corp for an unspecified fee. Ekis is said to be the sole owner of NNM, whose capital value is LVL25,000 (Ä35,202).

The seizure is linked to Ekisís alleged involvement in the scandal surrounding the botched attempt by the Digital Latvian Radio and Television Centre and Kempmayer Media Ltd (KML) to launch a DTT service in Latvia back in 2003.

LNT was the second most popular broadcaster in Latvia after Modern Times Groupís TV3 this February, claiming an audience share of 13%, according to data produced by TNS Latvia.

TV5, which is a regional station serving the capital, Riga, and environs, meanwhile had a 3.1% audience share.