Top Channel is a national commercial television station based in Tirana, Albania, founded by businessman Dritan Hoxha in 2001. A part of Top Media Group, in January 2008 Top Channel was awarded national frequency coverage by making it the third such channel in Albania. In 2009, it was the first Albanian channel to become available in 16:9 widescreen high-definition television for selected programs. Since September 2003, Top Channel has been present on satellite by broadcasting all over Europe through Digitalb, and North America through TV ALB and Shqip TV. The channel is available through IPTV in Europe and North America, and through local cable in Switzerland. Top Channel forms part of Top Media Group together with Top Albania Radio, Top Gold Radio, My Music Radio, daily newspaper Shqip, Shqip Magazine, part of pay TV platform Digitalb, Top News, VGA Studio, musicAL, and Imperial Cinemas.
Top Channel began experimental broadcasts on 30 July 2001 at the International Center for Culture (Qendra Ndërkombëtare e Kulturës) also known as “the Pyramid” or former mausoleum of Enver Hoxha in Tirana (shortly called “Piramida”). Since then it has seen a very fast growth and success as it has become preferable by a growing number of people through the qualitative level of broadcasting technology and programs.
As of 2006, it was believed that Top Channel held an average viewing rate of 70%, though these are based on approximate evaluations and not officially confirmed. In 2003, a survey ranked Top Channel as the most watched TV channel in Albania with 50% of the national audience, thus leaving far behind the second watched TV which accounted for 17%. One year earlier, it was ranked in third place with 11.9% behind the public broadcaster TVSH. Its success relates to its informational programs about the problems that Albanian society faces, as well as to the comparatively high technology by which it broadcasts.
In the past years it has also sought partnership with international development agencies such as UNDP, UNICEF, IOM, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, USAID, Albanian and French Red Cross, and many others, and sustains partnership with international private companies such as Vodafone. In addition, Top Channel has seen growing partnership with international news agencies such as Reuters in exchanging news coverage.
Top Channel together with Top Albania Radio and Top Gold Radio were formed by former media mogul and Lori Caffe owner Dritan Hoxha, who later died in a car accident in downtown Tirana while driving his Ferrari. His wife, Vjollca Hoxha, has taken over the business since 2008.wiki/Top_Channel