Television used to be the most popular media type in Albania and the main source of information for the public. However, recent survey data on media consumption shows that it has been taken over by social media as the main gateways to news and information. According to a survey published by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in July 2023, 75 % of people in Albania use television every day or almost every day and 13 % at least once a week.
The first television broadcasts were transmitted in 1960, the first news programme was launched by the public broadcaster ‘Radio Televizioni Shqiptar’ (RTSH) in 1963, while color transmission began in the mid-1980s. After the collapse of the communist regime in 1991 freedom of the press was guaranteed by law and the first private commercial TV station (Shijak Tv) opened in December 1995. Today there are six national broadcasters and 37 local TV channels in Albania.
In Albania there are currently four national TV broadcasters, one public and three commercial broadcasters. The public service media includes 16 regional and thematic TV channels. There are also 37 local television stations and 21 cable/IPTV/OTT channels. The digital switchover and distribution of seven digital terrestrial frequencies was completed in 2020 by the Albanian Media Authority, AMA. Two of the frequencies were granted to the public broadcaster RTSH while five other licenses were distributed to the commercial broadcasters Top Channel, Klan TV, Digitalb, Media Vizion, and ADTN. According to AMA, in Albania there were also 62 cable networks, one IPTV, 14 OTT and one VOD provider. There were also two satellite broadcasting networks, Digitalb and Tring TV.
The TV advertising market was estimated at €42 million in 2022, dominated by a handful of big corporate advertisers, mostly in the telecommunication market, while the total free to air TV market, including the revenues of the public broadcaster at €60 million.
The content aired by Albanian TV includes news and information and a mixture of domestically produced current affairs political, social and cultural TV shows, mixed with syndicated international reality TV formats like Big Brother and Big Brother VIP, Dancing with Stars and MasterChef, as well as Turkish and Brazilian soap operas. A staple of TV programming in Albania are also political talk shows, which are transmitted several times a week in prime time.
The sample of 10 TV stations, which were chosen to be part of this study, was based on audience data provided by Idra Media and the principle that the selected outlets produce news and information that contribute to shaping public opinion.
BIRN Albania, BIRN Albania and SCiDEV Present Studies on Disinformation, Propaganda and Fake News, (2023).
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Albania Audiovisual Media Authority, OSHMA Audiovizive [Broadcasting stations], (2023). Accessed on 18.08.2023
Albania Audiovisual Media Authority, OSHMA të autorizuara për ofrimin e shërbimit audioviziv [Outlets authorized to offer audiovisual services], (2023). Accessed on 18.08.2023
Albania Audiovisual Media Authority, OSHMA të autorizuara për përsërit e shërbimit audioviziv [Outlets authorized to rebroadcast audiovisual services], (2023). Accessed on 18.08.2023
Albania Audiovisual Media Authority ,OSHMA të autorizuara për transmetim audioviziv satelitor [outlets authorized for satellite audiovisual services], (2023). Accessed on 18.08.2023
Reporter.al TVSH, Klan dhe Top Channel dominojnë tregun televiziv në vend [TVSH, Klan and Top Channel dominate the television market in the country], (2023). Accessed on 18.08.2023