Television is by far the most popular media type in Albania and the main source of information for the public. According to a report published by IDRA in 2017, in a survey 79% of the respondents ranked television as their main source of information, 18 % ranked it as their second source of information and 7% as their third source of information.
The first television broadcasts were transmitted in 1960, the first news programme was launched by the public broadcaster Radio Televisioni Shqiptaria (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 56 local TV channels in Albania.
In 2017 the Albanian Media Authority, AMA, the independent agency that supervises the TV market, distributed seven national terrestrial digital frequencies, two of which went to the public broadcaster RTSH. The other five licenses were awarded to Top Channel TV, Klan TV, Media Vizion, Digitalb and ADTN. Despite the relatively small TV advertising market, Albania has a high number of TV stations. According to data published by IDRA, the TV adverting market was estimated at €33 million in 2015, dominated by a handful of big corporate advertisers, mostly in the telecommunication market.
The content produced for Albanian TV has been highly influenced by the Italian television giants, Mediaset and Rai, which were rebroadcast in Albania in the 90’. However, in the last few years international entertainment formats like Big Brother, Dancing with Stars and MasterChef as well as Turkish soap operas and TV dramas were brought to primetime for local audiences. A staple of TV programming in Albania are also political talk shows, which are transmitted several times a week.
The sample of 11 TV stations, which were chosen to be part of this study, was based on audience data provided by Telemetrix and Abacus and the principle that the selected outlets produce news and information that contribute to shaping public opinion.
Pandëshkueshmëria, Opinioni publik mbi kuptimin, arsyet dhe rolin e institucioneve [Impunity, opinion on the role, reasons and understanding of public institutions] , IDRA Institute, (2017)
Accessed on 16.01.2018
Lista e Televizioneve [List of televisions], Albania Media Authority, (2017) Accessed on 16.01.2018