Radio Television of Serbia

Radio Television of Serbia is the public broadcaster in Serbia. It broadcasts and produces news, drama, and sports programming through radio, television and the Internet. RTS is a member of the European Broadcasting Union.
Radio Television of Serbia has four organizational units - radio, television, music production, and record label. It is financed primarily through monthly subscription fees and advertising revenue.


Radio Belgrade (1929–1958)

Radio Belgrade began its broadcasts in 1929. The first news announcer in 1929 was Jelena Bilbija. The first radio program in Serbia was broadcast in February 1924, when released radio signal was transmitted from the transmitter in Belgrade suburb of Rakovica. After five years, on March 24, 1929 Radio Belgrade began with regular broadcasting of its program from the building of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Radio Television Belgrade (1958–1991)

Radio Television Belgrade, consisting of Radio Belgrade and Television Belgrade was established as a result of the decision by the Executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Serbia on 13 February 1958. This came after the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's government decision of 1956 to invest in a television network.
The first televised broadcast was on 23 August 1958, an edition of the Dnevnik news programme with Miloje Orlović, Branislav Surutka, Olga Nađ, Olivera Živković and Vera Milovanović. The first RTB program was broadcast from the Belgrade Fair and from a new TV Studio build there. From 1961, RTS began to use quadruplex video tape recording equipment. The Sixties saw dramatic development in all genres of TV programs. TVB became famous by its sitcoms. Also, TVB had excellent documentary programs and quizzes. By 1970, the entire territory of Serbia was covered by the RTS signal. On 31 December 1971, TVB started broadcasting in PAL color system on its second network. A new AM broadcast equipment in Zvečka, Obrenovac, with 2000 kW transmitter was erected in 1976.
After the political turmoil in the 1970s the program of RTB became more sterile, however, in the 1980s it reached the zenith.
In 1989, preparation for the formation of the RTS system officially began. That same year, 3K TVB started broadcasting as the youth, alternative TV channel. Along with it, Radio 101 started broadcasting in Belgrade and Vojvodina. Radio 101 was the more commercial youth radio, carrying pop and turbo-folk hits. It was intended to complement the more alternative Belgrade 202.
In 1990, a few regional studios officially started broadcasting regional programming via a window in place of "Beogradska hronika".
In 1991, all public broadcasters started their merger into RTS.

Radio Television of Serbia (1990s)

During the March 1991 anti-war demonstrations in Belgrade, the protesters issued a series of demands, one of which was the sacking of RTB’s general director, Dušan Mitević. The Yugoslav government eventually relented and removed Mitević from his position at RTB. On 8 October 1991, four RTB journalists were killed on the Glina–Petrinja road, in central Croatia, while covering Yugoslavia's civil war.
RTS was established in 1992 with the merger of RTB, Radio-Television Novi Sad and Radio-Television Priština. All transmitters, relay stations, antennas and other television equipment once owned by these broadcasters were inherited by RTS. As Yugoslavia disintegrated, RTS's journalistic standards plummeted. During the Siege of Dubrovnik, RTS claimed that smoke rising from the city's Old Town was the result of automobile tires set on fire by locals. During the Siege of Sarajevo, RTS newscasts showed an image of Sarajevo from the 1980s, untouched, thereby downplaying the severity of the siege. As the wars dragged on, the Yugoslav government began terminating the employment of many dissenting journalists. By January 1993, nearly 1,300 RTS employees – amounting to one-third of the broadcaster's pre-war workforce – had been fired.
RTS was active during the Kosovo War and the concurrent NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. On 8 April 1999, the spokesman for NATO Headquarters, Air Commodore David Wilby, warned that RTS would be bombed unless it broadcast six hours of Western television coverage of the Kosovo War each day; RTS refused to comply. On 20 April, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Wesley Clark, ordered that RTS was to be bombed off the air. NATO missiles struck RTS at 2:06 a.m on 23 April. Serbia's Minister of Information, Aleksandar Vučić, scheduled to appear on CNN's Larry King Live from RTS's headquarters at 2:30 a.m., narrowly escaped the bombing. Sixteen RTS employees were killed and an additional 16 were injured. The human rights organization Amnesty International condemned the attack and described it as a war crime. NATO officials stated that the alliance considered RTS a legitimate target because of its "biased and distorted coverage" of the war. The bombing temporarily forced RTS off the air, but it resumed broadcasting several hours later, and continued to do so for the rest of the conflict.
Most of RTS's headquarters was reconstructed after the war, but part of it was left in ruins as a memorial to those killed. The victims of the bombing were later memorialized by the Zašto? monument in Belgrade's Tašmajdan Park. In 2002, Dragoljub Milanović, the general manager of RTS, was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years' imprisonment for failing to evacuate the broadcaster's headquarters despite repeated threats by NATO officials that it would be bombed.

Radio Television of Serbia (2000s)

After Milošević's removal from power, RTS underwent reconstruction in order to regain respect amongst much of its audience which the network had lost during the '90s. Particular emphasis was put on news programming which suffered greatly during the '90s. In 2006 RTS became the most viewed television network in Serbia and has retained this position since then. Early that year, RTS decided to shut down one of its television channels. 3K was a channel dedicated to the youth, which, however, became the main film, series and sports channel in the late 1990s and the early 2000s..

General directors
  • 1955–1959: Mirko Tepavac
  • 1959–1962: Dušan Popović
  • 1962–1972: Zdravko Vuković
  • 1972–1985: Milan Vukos
  • 1985–1988: Ratomir Vico
  • 1989–1991: Dušan Mitević
  • 1991–1991: Ratomir Vico
  • 1992–1992: Dobrosav Bjeletić
  • 1992–1995: Milorad Vučelić
  • 1995–2000: Dragoljub Milanović
  • 2000–2001: Nenad Ristić
  • 2001–2004: Aleksandar Crkvenjakov
  • 2004–2013: Aleksandar Tijanić
  • 2013–2015: Nikola Mirkov
  • 2015–present: Dragan Bujošević

In 2007, the BBC World Service Trust launched an extensive training programme at Serbia's national broadcaster. This 30-month project, which was funded by the European Union, provided extensive journalism, craft and management training to all levels of staff at the broadcaster.
In 2008, RTS underwent major changes as it celebrated 50 years of existence. The network launched its digital network which uses DTT Digital terrestrial television via several DVB-T transmitters. It has also invested millions in new technology. The new high-definition television system was first put in place in May for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest while on 26 November 2008, RTS began airing its new channel ‘’RTS Culture and Arts’’ which is a DTT-only channel, transmitted in 16:9 standard definition format, with stereo and 5.1 digital audio. During 2008 the networks web presentations was greatly improved. On 23 August 2008, the 50th anniversary of Dnevnik was celebrated. A special edition of the 19.30 Dnevnik was aired with Mića Orlović, the first newsreader to host the news in Serbia, hosted the special addition helped by Dušanka Kalanj, the first female newsreader in Serbia. The theme of the evening's news included a reflection on the past 50 years a projection of the future as well as the news of the day. The weather was read out by Kamenko Katić, the first weather forecaster. All babies born on 23 August 2008, received a flat screen television set from RTS. On 9 September 2009, at 21.00 CET, RTS launched its first high definition channel – RTS HD.
RTS was the host broadcaster of the semi-final and finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2008. Serbia gained the rights to host the contest after Marija Šerifović's 2007 victory in Helsinki, Finland. The Eurovision Song Contest 2008 was held in Belgrade. RTS broadcast the event as usual on RTS1. The host couple were Jovana Janković and Željko Joksimović. The rating of the final of Eurovision was overwhelming with 4.560.000 people tuning in to watch making it the most watched event on Serbian television as well as on RTS.
In 2011, RTS issued a written apology to the citizens of Serbia and former Yugoslavia for its actions during the regime of Slobodan Milošević and the break up of Yugoslavia. The letter apologises for the network's senseless reporting and the hurt it caused to the public. It vows never to let history repeat itself.
On 23 August 2014, at the 56th anniversary of the broadcaster, RTS got a new visual identity: focusing on new on-screen logos introduced on 18 February for their terrestrial channels. At the same day, the watermarks changed themselves to fit into the 16:9 format.


RTS has two TV centers: in addition to the main TV production center within RTS headquarters complex in the downtown Belgrade, there is also TV production center in Košutnjak. RTS offers live programming on its website.


There are currently five channels:

News programmes

News programmes are produced in Belgrade, however the network has a total of 25 news offices in the country. RTS also has its own correspondents and offices outside of Serbia in: Moscow, London, Brussels, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Tokyo.
RTS has the most watched news and current affairs programmes in the country, according to the AGB Nilsen Serbian ratings.
The centerpiece of RTS news programming is the Dnevnik, which is the network's main news programme and is aired on RTS1. The Dnevnik bulletins are aired at 8:00, 12:00 during workweek and 13:00 Saturdays and Sundays, 19:30 and at 23:00. The flagship Dnevnik has been the most watched news programme in Serbia since 2003, averaging between 1.5–2 million viewers nightly.
The following are news and current affairs aired on RTS:
The RTS entertainment is largely based on local production of Serbian drama programmes, soaps and musical programmes. Recently RTS has started investing more in local drama and as a result has been rewarded with high ratings. An episode of the RTS drama Ranjeni orao aired on 15 January 2009, is the most watched scripted drama episode in Serbian broadcasting history with over 3 million viewers.
RTS also broadcasts various world entertainment events as part of its entertainment programming including the Vienna New Year's Concert and Academy Awards ceremony. The network has transferred a lot of its cultural programming and documentaries, originally broadcast on RTS2, to the RTS3. The network holds rights to air major entertainment events such as the Eurovision Song Contest ad Junior Eurovision Song Contest. In 2008, RTS produced the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest.
The following is a list of entertainment programmes produced and aired by RTS :
The following is a list of drama series produced and aired by RTS
RTS also relies on dramas and soaps produced outside of Serbia as well as documentary programmes.
The following is a list of internationally created shows currently broadcast by RTS :
Original nameSerbian translationChannelOrigin
Criminal MindsЗлочиначки умови RTS1United States
Band of BrothersБраћа по оружју RTS1United States
Saving GraceКако спасити Грејс RTS1United States
The SopranosПородица Сопрано RTS2United States
Postman PatПоштар Пат RTS2United Kingdom
Ozie Boo!Ози бу RTS2France
Thomas and FriendsТомас и другари RTS2United Kingdom
Maya the BeeПчелица Маја RTS2Germany

Sports programming

RTS is a major player in Serbian sports broadcasting. Major sporting events are aired on RTS1, especially if a Serbian team or athlete is participating while all other sports broadcasting is aired on RTS2.
The network has several shows which are specially dedicated to sports, aired on both RTS1 and RTS2. RTS broadcast its first Summer Olympic Games in 1996 and has held broadcasting rights for both the Summer Olympic Games and Winter Olympic Games ever since. RTS also holds rights to broadcast the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship, FIBA World Cup, EuroBasket, FIVB Men's World Championship, FIVB Women's World Championship, FIVB Volleyball World League, European Men's Handball Championship, European Water Polo Championship, IAAF World Championships in Athletics, European Athletics Championships, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Wimbledon, Roland Garros, US Open, Australian Open, etc. It has exclusive rights to the Serbian Cup football matches.

Iconic programmes

RTS operates 4 radio stations, under the name Radio Belgrade.
RTS has an archive of its TV programmes. In addition to 5000+ video tapes in the long obsolete quadruplex format, the archive contains tapes in C-type helical scan, U-matic, beta-SP and digital formats. Also, the archive contains an extensive collection of newsreels, short filmed stories, and feature films on 16 mm and 35 mm tapes.
PGP-RTS is a music production company owned by the television network, starting with production in 1958 under the name PGP-RTB and used to be one of two largest record labels in the former Yugoslavia. Today, it is the third largest record label in Serbia.