Ukraine’s television industry is strong in the international MIPTV television market, calling on the global television industry to support them while their country remains besieged by Russia.
The biggest players in the Ukrainian market, including FILM.UA Group, Media Group Ukraine, StarLight Media and 1+1 Media, jointly present a national pavilion at MIP with a common message.
“We are asking people to support us by buying our programming and entering into co-production agreements with us so that we can continue to operate,” said Kateryna Sheveliuk, head of fiction production at Starlight Media in Ukraine. The Hollywood Reporter. “Because we have no way of making money right now. But we still pay all of our employees.
Sheveliuk fled to the Czech Republic with her two daughters after the outbreak of war on February 24, but her husband remained behind as part of the Ukrainian Civil Defense Force. He is currently near kyiv, she said. His parents, in the port city of Odessa, tell him about the daily bombardments by Russian artillery.
“Because of the war, many media representatives are scattered all over Ukraine and many have left the country,” says Sheveliuk. “But we managed to move a lot of the production infrastructure to relatively safe areas in western Ukraine and we are working to get things back up and running.”
Commercial television effectively ended in Ukraine shortly after the Russian invasion, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered all national television stations in the country to consolidate into a single United News program which, according to the president, would fight so-called Russian disinformation and “tell the truth about the war.
1+1 Media, StarLight Media, Media Group Ukraine and Inter Media Group, Rada TV and the Ukrainian public service broadcaster now collectively produce a continuous 24/7 commercial-free news channel that is broadcast on all platforms national television, radio and OTT networks of Ukraine. .
Sheveliuk says the only source of income for the commercial channels comes from licensing their shows, an activity that has picked up recently as broadcasters in several countries have started acquiring more Ukrainian shows as a show of support for the country.
Netflix recently renewed its license servant of the people, the Ukrainian comedy series starring Ukrainian President Zelensky, for his US service, and networks like Channel 4 in the UK picked up the show. The sitcom, which launched Zelensky’s political career, is the story of an ordinary man who accidentally becomes President of Ukraine.
But United News estimates it costs $5.5 million a month to keep the channel running. The independent broadcasters, which receive no public support and, without advertisements, have no source of income, have set up a non-profit association to fund the news network and have called on the international business and media community to donate to keep the show on the air. Supporters can donate through the band’s website.
“We are trying to save the country and we are trying to save the industry that works in Ukraine,” Inna Flipova, head of sales at 1+1 Media, said during a panel discussion at MIPTV on Monday about the state of the industry. Ukrainian industry.
One of Ukraine’s commercial channels, TET, began airing children’s cartoons and movie marathons to give viewers a break from 24/7 war reporting. In two weeks, Starlight’s STB network will launch its own specialized channel, broadcasting series from its catalog as well as short programs intended to “psychologically support” people under siege. One of the programs will be hosted by a psychologist who will give advice to parents on how to discuss the events of the war with their young children.