YPC Weekly Newsletter

2003


"A1+" TV COMPANY REFUSED A BROADCAST LICENSE

On July 18 the results of the broadcast licensing competition for 5 UHFs in Yerevan were announced. The competition opened as far back as on October 15 last year and constantly postponed due to lengthy court hearings (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 20-27, 2003), called for bids for the 27th, 31st, 39th, 51st and 58th frequencies.

The bids submitted to the competition were considered by the National Commission on Television and Radio on July 14. The three of the frequencies above (31st, 39th, 51st), apart from their current holders – "ARMENAKOB", "TV 5" (rebroadcaster of MTV Russia), "Yerevan", respectively – was claimed by "A1+" TV company. The 27th frequency had no bidders but for "Dar 21" that occupies the frequency now and rebroadcasts Russian "MuzTV" . Among the bidders for 58th frequency are "EV" TV company (currently rebroadcasting CNN on it) and "Noyan Tapan" TV company.

According to the votes of the National Commission members on July 18, "ARMENAKOB" TV scored 31 points, "TV 5" – 25, "Yerevan" – 27 points. "A1+" TV company, competing with these broadcasters, scored 21 points for each of the three claimed frequencies.

The bid of "Noyan Tapan" TV company was also rated at 21 units, while its rival, "EV" TV channel got 29 points.

The right to broadcast on 27th frequency was retained by "Dar 21" TV channel that had no rivals.

YPC Comment: National Commission on Television and Radio once again ignored both the serious professional experience and the creative advantages of "A1+", as well as the public opinion and the appeals of international organizations. Apparently, the National Commission is still guided by the political interests, considerations of the moment and other, unknown to us, principles, when determining the winners of the broadcast licensing competitions, where "A1+" participated with no success – being one of the first private broadcasters in the country (founded in 1991), the only TV channel of general nature that was on air 24 hours a day.