All TV and radio companies of Armenia will soon have to apply to the National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR) to receive new licenses, as specified by the RA Law “On Television and Radio”. This was announced to the media representative by Grigor Amalyan, the Chairman of the NCTR, after the first session of the Commission at the Journalists Union of Armenia on May 2. As it has already been reported, the NCTR was established in March this year (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, March 17-23, 2001).
Granting of new licenses will be carried out in conformity with the specially developed and ratified Procedure of Re-licensing. It is expected that the Procedure will soon be published in the RA Bulletin of Departmental Normative Acts, after which, within 30 days, the TV and radio companies can submit to the Commission the package of the necessary documents.
Thus, the authority of licensing the TV and radio frequency use is, according to the broadcast law, presently transferred from the RA Ministry of Transportation and Communication to the NCTR. The procedure of re-licensing itself, as the Commission members state, is a mere formality. So, if all appropriate documents are submitted by the deadline specified, the TV or radio company will receive a new license, where the terms of the previous license will be retained. It should be noted that no payments are stipulated for this procedure.
According to experts, the impending process of re-licensing the TV and radio companies is the first serious examination for the NCTR itself, and the confidence towards this body depends on how objective and painless for the electronic media the re-licensing process will be.