Levon Barseghian, the Board Chairman of “Asparez” Journalists’ Club of Gyumri, addressed letters to Grigor Amalian, Chairman of the National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR), informing about the legislation violations by the First Channel of the Public Television of Armenia on the air of December 31, 2010 and January 1, 2011. The reason for inquiring NCTR, the broadcast regulatory body, was the monitoring results of the PTA First Channel, administered by “Asparez” on the New Year days. The letters were attended by detailed tables on the monitoring findings.
The letter of Levon Barseghian of January 10, 2011, particularly, noted that on December 31, 2010 commercial advertising on the air of PTA First Channel exceeded the legislative limits. Thus, in TV programs of overall duration of 16 hours 7 minutes and 34 seconds (since 07:52:26 till 24:00:00) the advertising made 2 hours 1 minute and 57 seconds, or the 12.6% of the total airtime. Hence, the provision of the RA Law “On Television and Radio”, defining a 7% restriction on the advertising volume for the total airtime, was violated: the limit was exceeded by 80% of the permissible maximum. Besides, the “Retro-22:30” TV program, aired since 22:50:41 till 23:44:29, was four times interrupted by advertising blocs and/or sponsor references. Thus, the requirement of Point 2 of Article 9 of the RA Law “On Advertising” was also violated (a TV program can be interrupted by an advertisement only every 20 minutes).
Similar cases were fixed by “Asparez” on the air of the First Channel on January 1, 2011. The “Asparez” letter addressed to NCTR on January 14, 2011, particularly, notes that on the 24-hour air of the New Year first day (since 00:00:00 till 24:00:00) the duration of commercial advertising made 2 hours 20 minutes and 28 seconds, or 9.8% of the total air, given the restriction of 7%. The requirement of Point 2 of Article 9 of the RA Law “On Advertising” was violated in several programs: “Concert”, “22:30”, “Anna” soap opera.
In the letters to the NCTR head “Asparez” demanded to consider the presented findings, call the lawbreakers to account, as well as to inform about the measures taken. The copies of the letters were sent to the Chairman of the Council of the Public TV and Radio Company Alexan Harutiunian and the Head of RA President’s Control Service Hovhannes Hovsepian.