When Will TV Company Igrika Appear on Air?
01 March, 2012

“Igrika is s a mythical channel as yet”

TV Company Igrika, belonging to Bidzina Ivanishvili, the main political rival of the Georgian President may be linked to the network of MagtiSat Satellite TV. As for Silknet, widely seen as Governmental cable TV, taking into account that it continues blockade of Maestro TV Company in its net despite the protests of Maestro’s journalists, Igrika is not likely to appear among Silknet channels either.

 

Without a license, Igrika cannot broadcast on ordinary waves. Accordingly, neither Georgian regions, nor Tbilisi residents would be able to watch it free of charge. If it is granted the license, its TV signal should travel to Tbilisi TV tower with Tbilisi and Mtskheta coverage and then it will be translated to Georgian regions. Nonetheless, Igrika – 9th Channel owns cable and satellite broadcasting license. If it chooses the cable broadcasting, it will have all the chances to clinch an agreement with Global TV, owned by Ivanishvili’s brother. But this means that the new TV would be restricted to local coverage and only a part of Eastern Georgia would be able to receive its programs. Global TV can offer one of its most expensive packages, which cannot be afforded by many users. As noted above, Igrika owns Satellite broadcasting license as well. If it chooses this type of broadcasting it could cover the entire country only via TurkSat, just like Governmental TVs do. Its users would have to install a satellite dish to this end. It remains to be seen if such costs would make sense for Ivanishvili, given that he may have to buy dishes for many users around the country. Adding to it, there is a strong chance that installation of satellite dishes around Tbilisi may face last minute restrictions from the Mayor’s office, claiming that such numerous dishes are damaging the picture of city.

Another option is the collaboration of Igrika with Magticom Company, which recently came forward with a new satellite TV – MagtiSat - service. It offers a nationwide digital satellite broadcasting, which still requires dishes and receivers. At this stage, Igrika is holding negotiations with Georgian TV companies as well. They are basically Governmental TV channels and they refuse to have any business deal with Igrika. Consequently, it seems that MagtiSat users may have to choose between Governmental and opposition channels. There are reports that Igrika is going to arrange its broadcasting via MagtiSat. However, Magticom Company Director Irakli Lobzhanidze refutes these reports. “Igrika is a mythical channel as yet. We don’t know who their representatives are. So far, no one from them has approached us. Hence, there are no such talks whatsoever,” – Lobzhanidze states.

As for the Igrika team, they assert that they will be on air but do not specify how they are going to make it happen.

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