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Family-Run And Independent, F Living Is Wiping The Floor With State-Owned TVM’s New Channel 

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A small, independent and family-run TV station is currently ahead of TVM’s brand new channel in the ratings.

F Living, which is run and presented by the couple Karl and Romina Bonaci, was selected as the best Maltese TV channel by 3.3% of respondents in the Broadcasting Authority’s latest audience survey.

In contrast, TVMnews+ could only muster a rating of 2.9%, which is actually down from the 5.3% that its predecessor TVM2 scored in the BA’s May 2021 survey.

This means that an independent private TV station which only employs a handful of staff has a stronger following than a competitor which is owned by the state, and which has millions of resources at its disposal.

Meanwhile, TVM is followed by 44.3% of people, foreign stations by 43.6%, Labour’s ONE TV by 22.4% and PN’s NET TV by 12.8%.

Today’s ratings come as a huge blow for the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS), which launched TVMnews+ earlier this year as part of a landmark shake-up in national broadcasting.

PBS executive chairman Mark Sammut launching TVMNews+ earlier this year

PBS executive chairman Mark Sammut launching TVMNews+ earlier this year

While the new channel is focusing mainly on news and current events, including sports, culture and art programmes, TVM is focusing mainly on entertainment. 

To mark the shake-up, PBS also launched a public competition for its new logo, with the winning design one which incorporates the Maltese cross and the ‘play’ symbol.

Broadcasting Minister Carmelo Abela even pledged to allocate €30 million to PBS over a five-year period to produce high-quality content on its channels.

However, it’s clear that the national broadcaster has its work cut out for it if it wants to convince several people to tune in to its new channel.

TVM’s news bulletin remains the most popular programme overall, selected by 9.3% of respondents, while the drama Nostalġija and the music competition X Factor Malta are joint second with 7.3%.

Cover photo: Left: PBS head of news Norma Saliba, Right: F-Living’s Karl and Romina Bonaci 

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]m

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