ASTANA – Kazakh TV, which broadcasts to more than 118 countries, is the nation’s first satellite channel aiming to report about the country and its achievements. Director Andrei Tarakov talked about the network’s history and future plans in an exclusive interview with The Astana Times.
“We are striving to become known abroad and give our audience an opportunity to learn more about Kazakhstan. Contracts were signed with operators of the largest cable networks, TV and Internet companies. Millions of people can watch the channel through cable and hotel networks,” he said.
Kazakh TV was established in the 2000s as Caspionet, which Tarakov described as “a big breakthrough at the time.”
“The creation of such a channel showed the status of the state, because not every country could afford a satellite channel. In general, the concept of satellite broadcasting didn’t exist at the time. There were channels which were aired by satellites. Depending on the demand for the channel, the signal was received by TV and radio companies and news agencies, not just residents of certain countries. Then, the market was clearly structured and niche channels appeared for every taste, about nature and animals, history, culture and others,” he said.
The channel is broadcast to Europe via satellite platforms such as HotBird 13B, Asia through AsiaSat 5 and North America using Galaxy 19.
“Now, the news at our channel is submitted in the context of global trends and events. That is, the channel covers all international events held in our country or abroad with the participation of our representatives, world premieres of our cultural artists and so on. Fortunately, we already have many sites, such as Astana Opera, where world-class performances are held,” added Tarakov.
Cultural and historical heritage shows about Kazakh customs and traditions unveil forgotten and newly revived rituals. Programmes like Ethnographic Atlas, Kazakh Legends and Modern Nomads tell the people’s stories.
Projects such as Turkic World and Enigma of the Great Steppe show the trace left by Turks in the region’s history and demonstrate interesting facts from the country’s history, archaeology and ethnography.
Fashion Guide and History in Crafts elaborate on the unique craftsmanship passed from generation to generation and the invisible threads that weave imagination and novelties in the Kazakh fashion world.
“We try to create universal programmes that are interesting to absolutely all categories of viewers. Everyone will find something interesting for themselves: for business people, programmes about investment opportunities and for tourists, programmes about different corners of our country,” said Tarakov.