YPC Weekly Newsletter

2003


BROADCAST LICENSING COMPETITION: DOES “A1+” TV HAVE A CHANCE?

On December 24 the consideration of applications for the broadcast licensing competitions on the four frequencies – 56th UHF of Yerevan, 27th UHF of Gavar (Gegharkunik region), 12th VHF of Hrazdan (Kotayk region) and 30th UHF of Artashat (Ararat region) – started.

The day before, on December 23, the leaders of the Journalists Union of Armenia, the public organization Internews Armenia, the Armenian Film Critics and Journalists Association, the Association of Investigative Journalists, Yerevan Press Club, Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, “Asparez” Journalist’s Club appealed to the Chairman of the National Commission on Television and Radio Grigor Amalian (the copies of the letter were addressed to all the members of the National Commission).

The letter of the seven journalistic associations of the country notes that the broadcast licensing competitions conducted generated much response in the public and attracted the attention of international structures. The latter ones, in particular, repeatedly stressed the need for greater transparency of decision-making by the National Commission. To this effect the signatories proposed that five independent experts (named in the letter) be involved in the study and evaluation of the bids for 56th UHF as volunteers. This frequency is of special interest since among the applicants is the founder of “A1+” TV company, “Meltex” LLC. The proposal made by the journalistic associations is compliant with the RA Law “On Television and Radio”, the Statutes of the National Commission and the resolution of this regulating body on the procedure for holding broadcast licensing competitions.

On the evening of the same day – December 23 – the response of the Chairman of the National Commission Grigor Amalian, who actually turned down the proposal, was received. While thanking the journalistic associations, Mr. Amalian informed that should necessity arise, the National Commission will resort to the services of these experts – “in the framework of their professional capacities”.

Besides “Meltex”, the 56th UHF of Yerevan is claimed by three other organizations – “Noyan Tapan” LLC, “Avetis” CJSC (the programs of the homonymous TV company are currently aired on this frequency) and previously unknown “Husaber” CJSC, the founder of “Yerkir-Media” TV company.

The bids for the 27th UHF of Gavar and the 12th VHF of Hrazdan were submitted only by their current “owners”: “Kyavar” TV company (founded by “Kyavar” LLC) and “Hrazdan” (founded by “Sirak” LLC), respectively.

The 30th UHF of Artashat remained unclaimed.

The results of the competitions will be announced on December 29.