YPC Weekly Newsletter

2004


“A1+” TV COMPANY REFUSED A BROADCAST LICENSE FOR THE EIGHTH TIME

On December 29, 2003 the National Commission on Television and Radio announced the results of the broadcast licensing competitions on the 56th UHF of Yerevan, 27th UHF of Gavar (Gegharkunik region) and 12th VHF of Hrazdan (Kotayk region). As it has already been reported, no bids were submitted for another frequency on competition – the 30th UHF of Artashat (Ararat region).

According to the voting results, “Kyavar” and “Hrazdan” TV companies will continue to broadcast on the 27th UHF of Gavar and 12th VHF of Hrazdan, respectively.

The winner of the competition for the 56th UHF of Yerevan was determined to be “Husaber” CJSC – the founder of “Yerkir-Media” TV company. This frequency was at the focus of attention and was a source of utmost concern of journalistic community, since besides “Avetis” and “Noyan Tapan” TV companies it was claimed also by “A1+”.

YPC Comment: The time has come to sum up the activities of the National Commission on Television and Radio for the first year of its work, in particular, the organization and conductance of licensing competitions. During this time the broadcast market was significantly altered, and the most important event of the period was the deprivation of “A1+” TV company of air. Many opinions were voiced on the issue, some of them being sincere, others – not very. But whatever was said in public, there are hardly any doubts that the “A1+” story has a purely political context: the authorities, shielding themselves with the “independent” decision of the National Commission got rid of the unwanted TV channel.

However, let it be assumed that the Commission members, voting against “A1+” for eight times, were following their professional conscience and competence call. The existence of these qualities apparently was not questioned by them, otherwise they would not refuse the unselfish offer of a number of reputable professional associations to provide expertise in assessing the bids (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, December 19-25, 2003). Therefore, the public has a right to make judgments about the role and the competence of the National Commission on Television and Radio in the formation of the media market by specific results – the individual justifications and explanations “why not ‘A1+’ again…” lose sense against the background that we have by early 2004.

Let us list all the TV companies that defeated “A1+” in the competitions: “Kenton”, “Armenia”, “TV 5”, “Yerevan”, “ARMENAKOB”, “Cinemax” (“ArmNews”), “AR” (“Yerkir-Media” is omitted, since it has not as yet started operating) and compare what they offer the viewer with the programs of their rival, still fresh in the memory of the audience. Those who will say that all of them or at least their majority are superior in quality to “A1+”, can applaud the National Commission for the work in the interests of the society. But will there be many such people?