Bulgarian Nationalists 'Ataka' Get Own TV Channel
Bulgaria's nationalist party "Ataka" (i.e. "Attack") has received a permission to start its own TV channel.
Ataka's television will be called Alpha TV, and will be launched at the end of September, the Ataka party announced Friday.
"Alpha will be the only political media in Bulgaria – its only equivalent exists in the UK with the British National Party," the Bulgarian nationalist formation stated.
Ataka's leader Volen Siderov will be the anchor of a talk show on Alpha TV, a role that he feels comfortable in from his years as a TV anchor on the Bulgarian cable TV SKAT before he and the SKAT owner Valeri Simeonov fell out in 2009. His new talk show will be called "Political Academy."
According to Ani Ilincheva, a long-time employee of the Bulgarian National Television, who will be in charge of Alpha TV, the television of the nationalist formation will have an "information and education profile."
In her words, in addition to stressing Bulgarian-made TV productions, the TV channel will cooperate closely with the Ataka daily newspaper to cover the activities of the political party.
Ataka was granted a license for its TV channel by Bulgaria's Council for Electronic Media (CEM) late Thursday night, after already bumping off the application of nationalist party Ataka for the registration of its own TV channel.
According to Georgi Lozanov, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CEM, Ataka had to remedy a number of omissions in the documents filed.
In Lozanov's opinion, "there is no legal obstacle" to the registration of a TV channel owned by a political party, as Bulgaria's Radio and Television Act does not rule out the registration of such TV stations.
The Political Parties Act (PPA) also provides no explicit ban on the use of a party's subsidy from the state budget for the financing of a television broadcaster.
If it chooses to make use of the state subsidy, however, the political formation will have to give up on advertising and sponsorship revenue, as required by the PPA.
Alfa TV, as named in the registration papers, has applied for a public operator with national coverage, 24-hour program and an informational and educational profile. The TV project of the nationalist party surfaced in the summer of 2010.