YPC Weekly Newsletter

2005


MAJORITY OF RESPONDENTS BELIEVE THERE IS NO FAIR COMPETITION AND THE BROADCAST LEGISLATION IS TO BE REFORMED

On November 1-30 on the web site of Internews Armenia public organization (home.media.am)
an online poll on TV and radio market and existing legislative problems was
made. The Internews poll covered 50 respondents aged 22-55. The respondents
were to answer 4 open-ended questions.

The question “Do you agree that there is fair competition on broadcast market?”
16.5% of respondents answered “yes”. Of those who responded “no” 38.5% think
the reason for this to be the patronage atmosphere, 25.5% – the existing clan
system on the market, 12.5% noted that fair competition is not ensured due to
the deficiency of the law. 7% noted other reasons.

In the opinion of the vast majority of the respondents, there are obstacles
for free competition on the TV and radio market or omissions, related to the
broadcast regulation. At the same time, 67% respondents believe that the obstacles
or omissions are due to the subjective differentiated approach or the application
of double standards on behalf of the body, regulating private broadcasting (National
Commission on Television and Radio). 11.5% explain the existence of such by
the fact that the National Commission does not have the sufficient competence
to ensure competition. The remaining 4% noted different reasons. 17.5% do not
see legislative obstacles or omissions for free competition.

The third question, “Are there problems in the law application sphere?” was
also answered in affirmative by the majority of respondents. 43% see the problem
in the differentiated law application by the National Commission, 24% – in that
of the tax authorities. 22.5% believe that the problems are linked to the insufficient
control over the subjects causing unhealthy competition on the market. And only
10.5% of respondents answered there are no problems in this sphere.

The vast majority, 80% of respondents gave an affirmative answer to the final
question, too – “Does the broadcast legislation need reforming?” At the same
time, the respondents also noted what changes specifically must be introduced
into the broadcast legislation. The latter, among other things, proposed to
change the procedure of forming National Commission, to specify the procedure/terms
for license issuance, to specify the competence of the National Commission,
to increase its independence. In the opinion of 20% of respondents, the broadcast
legislation does not need reformation.