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Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company
Rustavi2-logo.png
Launched 1994
Picture format 4:3 SDTV
Country  Georgia
Language Georgian, English
Headquarters Tbilisi
Availability
Satellite
Türksat 3A 12593 V - 2500 - 5/6
Cable
Available on most cable systems Check local listings for channels
Internet television
Rustavi 2 LIVE Free

Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company (Georgian: რუსთავი 2), better known as Rustavi 2, is the most successful private television broadcasting company in Georgia. The Rustavi, based in Tbilisi, was founded in 1994 in the town of Rustavi. It is a privately owned free to air terrestrial broadcaster that currently reaches around 85% of the country's population. The area Rustavi 2 covers outside Georgia via satellite 24-hour broadcasting includes Europe, European part of Russia and the Middle East. Rustavi 2 was first to use digital hardware in Georgia, the first to go on satellite, the first to conduct live foreign transmissions and first to become an Associate member of the European Broadcasting Union. The news service of Rustavi 2 has bureaus and regional reporters in major Georgian cities (Kutaisi, Batumi, Gori, Poti, Zugdidi), as well as the permanent correspondents in Moscow and Washington D.C.. By some critiques, the independence of the station had been questioned, with some claiming it is a "mouthpiece" of the Saakashvili government.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

The Courier News by Rustavi 2 is considered to be one the most successful and operative news programs in Georgia.

Contents

Ownership

Rustavi 2 was originally owned by Erosi Kitsmarishvili, David Dvali, Jarji Akimidze and Nika Tabatadze. In July 2004, 90 % of the company's shares was bought by the Batumi-based businessman Kibar Khalvashi (who had close ties with the then-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili) who sold them, in January 2006, to David Bezhuashvili, member of the Parliament of Georgia and brother of Georgia's Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili. In mid-2006 Rustavi 2, the television company Mze TV and radio station Pirveli Stereo merged into a holding which is currently owned by the Georgian Industrial Group (GIG) and GeoMedia Group. GIG, which owns a 45% share of both stations, is a large company with diversified business interests ranging from coal mining and energy to travel. Davit Bezhuashvili, is a founding member of the group. The GeoMedia group is a relatively obscure company registered in the Marshall Islands.[7]

Logo of R2 Since 2009

History

It was formed in 1994 and had been in a strong opposition to Eduard Shevardnadze’s government since then. The Georgian authorities made several attempts to shut R2 down. Giorgi Sanaia, Georgia’s most popular TV journalist, who worked for R2, was murdered in July 2001. It has been considered by many as a political murder related with his programme "Night Courier" and investigations of allegations of official corruption. In October 2001, the security police raid on R2 office resulted in public anger and subsequent mass street demonstrations against the government’s pressure on independent media forced Eduard Shevardnadze to fire his entire cabinet. Rustavi 2 was the main mass media source used as a tribune by the opposition leaders during the Rose Revolution in November 2003.

Allegtions of propaganda

The opposition in Georgia has accused Rustavi 2 of being little better than a proganda station for the government - for instance broadcasting details of the 2009 Freedom House report on Russia but ignoring completely the report's criticism of Georgia [8].

References

External links

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