Big changes are afoot at Public Broadcasting Services, which will begin discussions with producers from tomorrow to establish the new schedule for TVM and TVM2.
Sources told Lovin Malta that the plan is for TVM to become more of an entertainment channel and TVM2 to be used for news and current affairs discussions.
“Meetings with producers will start tomorrow so the schedule will be completed soon,” a source told Lovin Malta.
Rumours have been circling for a while that significant changes will be made ahead of the general election which is likely to be held after summer.
Last February, PBS issued a call for submissions. Then, in April, PBS chairman Carmen Sammut was replaced by businessman Mark Sammut, whose role also took over that of Charles Dalli, a former ONE TV employee who was PBS’s CEO at the time.
Sammut now enjoys the role of Executive Chairman, a position that gives him considerable power over the decisions taken by PBS.
PBS reform was a major pledge made by Robert Abela ahead of his candidature for Labour leader which earned him the role of Prime Minister. However, he never quite articulated what sort of changes he wanted to make. Then, in August 2020, the most popular TVM programme Xarabank was axed.
Minister within the OPM Carmelo Abela last February announced that the government will be giving PBS some €30 million in funding over the next five years, a move that will have to face State aid scrutiny since PBS also operates commercially, competing in the advertising sales market, while being propped up by the taxpayer.
Despite this support, PBS is heavily in debt, likely to be in the region of €10 million, while it is exposed by another €10 million due to internal law suits.
What changes do you expect to see?