Published: 01 Apr 2015

Director of Czech Television outlines direction of TV in the internet age

Creativity and courage should be the watchwords of the television industry

Our recent guest speaker Petr Dvorak studied cybernetics at the Czech Technical University before gaining his MBA from the University of Chicago. Since the 1990s he has held significant positions on the boards of many companies, including eBanka and Slavia. Recently named the second most influential man in Czech media by Forbes magazine, he was director of TV Nova before being elected, in September 2011, to his current position as Director General of Czech Television.

In his speech at Prague College, delivered as part of the Master Speaker series, Mr Dvorak addressed the current state of play in the TV industry. He spoke about the diversity of channels delivered by Czech TV and its dominant position not only in the CR and its comparative strength as a European channel. But he also candidly acknowledged the increasing age of the demographic, suggesting that only changes to the current law would enable Czech TV to attract the ‘internet generation’ through that medium.

Echoing the words of the BBC’s Tony Hall, he added that there was a burden of responsibility of the broadcaster to the license-fee payer. His recipe for success as a public service broadcaster included four key elements: quality, creativity, courage, and respect. Answering a question from the audience, he said that 'creative' presenters like Jeremy Clarkson were important for the success of shows, but that there were limits, which such presenters had a responsibility to understand.

Prague College took the occasion of the visit to introduce its new BA programme in Communications & Media Studies. The programme, which is expected to come onstream in September 2015, will complement existing programmes in Business, IT and Art & Design; and like them, will be accredited by the UK's University of Teesside.