TBILISI, DFWatch – Two government-critical TV stations in Georgia are to start broadcasting from the same studios.
The two are Channel 9, run by associates of Bidzina Ivanishvili, front man of the opposition Georgian Dream coalition, and Maestro TV, a small, independent channel in Tbilisi.
Media.ge, an online newspaper reporting about media, writes that in a few weeks, Channel 9 will start broadcasting from Maestro’s studios in the Dighomi district of the capital.
The director of Channel 9 says that part of their programs will be produced at the old studio in Ortachala. The channel started broadcasting in February 2012, and until now has been broadcasting is test mode. When it makes the transfer to full operation, the channel will change office.
There is no discussion about merging the two channels. The building currently being used by Channel 9 belongs to Cartu Group. The building was recently seized by the National Enforcement Bureau to forcefully claim a fine Bidzina Ivanishvili was issued but refused to pay. http://dfwatch.net/georgia-seizes-cartu-bank-and-progress-bank-18259
Kakha Bekauri, Channel 9 chair, says that the company has a contract with Cartu Group to rent the studio, so it doesn’t matter who purchases the building until the terms of the contract ends.
Bacho Kikabidze, chair of Maestro, told media.ge that their studio is quite large and comfortable and Channel 9 will be offered a different floor than theirs.
“We won’t have any other relation,” he added.