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Czech Television planning cultural and children’s channels

The Czech Republic’s state broadcaster will launch a pair of new channels in August – one for children and the other the country’s first ever primetime cultural network.

The two Czech Television channels will share the same broadcasting slot, with children’s channel CT:D running between 6am and 8pm and arts net CT Art taking over from 8pm to 1.30am. They launch on August 31.

CT:D will target 4-12s and will broadcast ten programming units daily spanning entertainment and educational programmes, children’s films and fairy tales, journalism, foreign documentary, news and sport for children and animation.

“The aim of the children’s channel is not only to entertain but also to educate, thus offering children as well as their parents an alternative to the existing commercial channels for children and youth,” said Czech Television’s general director Petr Dvorak.

CT Art, meanwhile, will broadcast arts and cultural programming, including a news programme and talk shows. They will be broken down into thematic blocks, as with CT:D. Tomas Motl has been named executive director of the channel.

“Broadcasting cultural programmes is one of the basic functions of a public service medium. Culture will be given a coherent and regular space in the main broadcasting time by establishing a channel of its own for the first time in the history of our television,” said Dvorak.

The plan for a dedicated children’s net was first proposed in Dvorak’s candidature for general director. The former CEO of commercial net TV Nova took on the top job at Czech Television in September 2011.

“Czech Television fulfills one of its principle functions as a public service broadcaster by launching a children’s and a cultural channel, which cannot be and probably will not be provided in this form in the future by commercial broadcasters,” said Dvorak.

The goal was to have two fully thematic channels broadcasting independently in the future, he added.