Top Channel

The national broadcaster Top Channel TV began transmission in December 2001, under the leadership of Dritan Hoxha, which at the time was the sole shareholder of the company Top Channel LLC. At its foundation the TV channel brought in a talented staff of journalists, which together with the latest technology, turned Top Channel into Albania’s favorite small screen in a short period of time. In 2003, Top Channel TV was able to cover all Albania’s territory with its signal, while in 2004 it started transmitting in Europe through the pay per view platform DigitAlb, also founded by Hoxha. Since its early years of operations, Top Channel brought to Albania internationally syndicated programs like Big Brother and The Voice. Meanwhile its locally grown formats, like the popular comedy show ‘Portokalli’ or the investigative news show ‘Fiks Fare’, also gained in popularity, and were copy-catted by the competition.

In 2007, Top Channel was the most popular TV station in Albania, when his owner Dritan Hoxha sold 60% of his shares. Documents deposited in the National Business Center show that Hoxha sold 40% of the shares to Albert Sino and 20% to Aurel Baci for a total value of 315.2 million Lek (2.6 million USD). The agreement for the sale of the shares in 2007, was the source of a legal battle after the accidental death of Dritan Hoxha. Hoxha’s widow, Vjollca Hoxha, claimed in court that the sale contract was not valid and had been signed without her consent as a spouse. The legal saga ended in January 2023, when the High Court recognized the heirs of Dritan Hoxha as the sole owners of the company.

With a 22-year history in the audiovisual market and the public battles fought by its late owner Dritan Hoxha with former right-wing Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Top Channel created the perception of a TV station close to the current Prime Minister Edi Rama. However, the relationship between Rama and Top Channel have also had their ups and downs. In a series of tweets in November 2022, Rama accused Top Channel of seeking “illegal favors” from his government. The Prime Minister also presented a document in which Top Channel seems to propose to the Agency for Agricultural and Rural Development fifty promotional TV shows for a total payment of 12 million ALL. "This is an example of how media blackmail works. 120 million lek is requested from AZHBR to show Albanians everywhere how well rural Albania is doing," wrote Rama in his Twitter account. A few hours later, Top Channel described Rama's statements as "a series of attacks" which, according to the television, came "after some disturbing chronicles for the public".

Shortly after midnight on March 27, 2023 unidentified people fired 25 bullets from a vehicle as they passed Top Channel’s headquarters in the capital city of Tirana. The attack killed Pal Kola, a security guard stationed outside the building. Police opened an investigation and later that day found an abandoned Range Rover that had been set on fire about 25 miles from the scene of the attack. The attack was condemned by state leaders and local and international media organizations. The authors and motives of this attack are still unknown.

Key facts

Audience Share

XX.XX%

Ownership Type

Private

Geographic Coverage

National

Content Type

Free-to-air (digital)

Active Transparency

company/channel informs proactively and comprehensively about its ownership, data is constantly updated and easily verifiable

4 ♥

Media Companies / Groups

Top Media

Ownership

Ownership Structure

Top Channel is owned by the shareholding company Top Channel. Vjollca Hoxha and her four children own 100 % of the company.

Voting Rights

Only shareholders have voting rights.

Individual Owner

Media Companies / Groups
Facts

General Information

Founding Year

2001

Affiliated Interests Founder

Dritan Hoxha

his controversial business career started as a coffee importer; however, it was his investment in media that made him famous, often dubbed as a ‘pioneer of digital media’ in the region. In 1998 Hoxha founded Top Albania Radio and three years later Top Channel TV, which in a short period of time became the most popular television in Albania, due to his staff of famous journalists and cutting edge technology. In 2004 Hoxha launched the pay-per-view platform DigitAlb, which further strengthened his media conglomerate, Top Media.
Hoxha died on May 23, 2008 at age 40, in a deadly accident with his Ferrari 599. His funeral was attended by high state dignitaries, like then President Bamir Topi and current Prime Minister Edi Rama. However, Hoxha did not have a smooth relationship with all politicians. Before he passed away he had a deep conflict with former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, over satellite broadcasting licenses and a number of corruption scandals of the Democratic Party led government broadcast by Top Channel TV. These investigations created a perception that the broadcaster was closer to the then Tirana mayor and opposition leader Edi Rama, now the Prime Minister of Albania. After Dritan Hoxha's death, his widow Vjollca and their four children, Lorela, Sara, Redia and Itan inherited his companies.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Lorela Hoxha

the eldest daughter of Dritan and Vjollca Hoxha. In February 2023, she took over the management of Top Channel from her mother, Vjollca Hoxha. Lorela is also the sole shareholder of Top News, an informative TV station of the pay per view platform, Digitalb.

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Altin Kreka

the editor in chief of the news division at Top Channel. He previously worked as a journalist and editor at Gazeta Shqiptare, TV Klan and for the TV talk show Top Story.

Affiliated Interests other important people

Filip Cakuli

a member of the supervisory council of Top Channel and the director of the satirical/investigative show ‘Fiks Fare’.

Contact

Rruga “17 Nentori”, Nr. 20, Mezez Koder, Komuna Kashar,Tirana

Tel: +355 69 20 80 500

top-channel.tv

Financial Information

Revenue (in Mill. $)

12.4 Mln. $ / 1.59 Bn Lek

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

0.38 Mln.. $/ 43 Mln..Lek

Advertising (in % of total funding)

Missing Data

Market Share

23.6%

Further Information

Meta Data

The ownership structure and financial statement are publicly available on the Albanian National Business Registry. The financial data provided are for 2022. The Central Bank's average exchange rate for 2022 was used to convert the amounts into USD. Top Channel replied to the information request made by the MOM team on 24 August 2023. See sources for more. Audience share for Top TV stations was provided by Idra Media, for the period of 8 May 2022 to 8 May 2023.

  • Project by
    BIRN ALBANIA
  •  
    Global Media Registry
  •  
    Funded by European Union