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Lithuania – (E1) Media ownership concentration national level

Score in short:

Concentration is high in all sectors of media with national coverage (especially in television).

Score in detail:

In Lithuania, the legislation contains no special provisions on media concentration. The sector comes under the more general competition law, which forbids dominant positions, meaning over 40 % of a market.

As documented in previous studies (Balčytienė and Juraitė, 2009; česnavičius 2010), in the TV market, there is hard competition between two commercial television stations, TV3 and LnK, as their popularity among viewers is at similar rates. In the radio market, the situation is different and is in favor of the public service broadcaster, as its station LR1 is the leading one (it controls almost one fifth of the radio market). In general, one could conclude that the highest concentration exists in the television sector (57 %), which is followed by the newspaper market and radio market (see Table 3).

Table 3. Biggest audience share of the three media companies in different sectors (2008)

Sectors Media  Media type  Market share  CR3
Television  TV3 Commercial TV  23.5 % 57 %
LNK Commercial TV  20.7 %  
  LTV Public television  12.8 %  
Newspapers  Lietuvos rytas  Mid-market daily  19.3 % 46.8 %
                        Vakaro žinios                                    Tabloid daily              19.1 %  
  Respublika  Mid-market daily  8.4 %  
Radio  LR Public radio  18.8 % 43.5 %
  Lietus  Commercial radio  13.9 %  
  M-1 Commercial radio 10.8 %  

Even though the online media are rapidly strengthening their positions on the overall media market, competition there is leveling, but still holds its strongest position among the Top 5 news portals (Table 4).

Table 4. Top 5 news portals (November 2010)

News portal Description Number of users            Online only                1 107 370 Linked to daily Lietuvos rytas 855 507 Online only 801 619 Online only 737 291 Linked to daily 15 min 694 843

Source: Gemius Audience (

As to ownership type, except for TV3 commercial television which is owned by Modern Times group (Sweden), all mainstream media in Lithuania are owned by national owners (see Table 7). Being small and economically weak, the three Baltic States do not seem to be very interesting markets for foreign investors.