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Bulgaria’s BNT reportedly “bankrupt” with debts approaching 25 million euros

This weekend, Bulgarian newspaper Capital has revealed that Bulgarian National Television (BNT) is “bankrupt”. BNT’s debts are reportedly approaching 50 million lev, which is equivalent to 25 million euros. This revelation precedes the upcoming election for a new Director General at BNT, set to take place on July 5.

Four key areas of spending

Capital reports that a large amount of the debts owed by BNT have been amassed during the reign of current Director General of the broadcaster, Konstantin Kamenarov. According to the newspaper’s sources at BNT and the Ministry of Finance, the debts can be blamed on four key areas:

  • Increased costs for foreign productions
  • Buying more rights to sporting events
  • Increasing the salaries of employees at BNT
  • Purchasing major film packages and programmes

According to some of Capital’s sources, the majority of Kamenarov’s spending has taken place in the past few months due to his expectation that he will no longer by Director General after next month’s election as a result of a drink-driving conviction.

Election candidates need to tackle the financial crisis at BNT

With the candidates for the upcoming BNT election due to be revealed later this month, it is expected that they will have to present a plan to tackle the current financial crisis at BNT, the worst faced by the broadcaster in “more than two decades”. The original demand for candidates to only provide a development plan for the broadcaster is now deemed “pointless” with these overarching issues.

Eurovision news expected following the July election

Bulgaria withdrew from the Eurovision Song Contest last October, citing that the fees of participation are too high to warrant taking part. Following the contest in Tel Aviv, BNT confirmed that a decision in regards to Eurovision 2020 will be taken following the BNT election on July 5. Time will tell if these financial issues will remain a stumbling block to a Eurovision return for Bulgaria in The Netherlands.

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