Since January 21 some of the national and Yerevan TV companies disappeared from the Armenian air. The changes were stipulated by the results of licensing competitions in digital network, released on December 16 and 23, 2010 (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, December 17-23, 2010 and December 10-16, 2010). Thus, “ALM” TV channel, which lost one of the competitions to “Yerevan” TV, stopped its broadcast. TV5 was also dropped out of the broadcast spectrum. Unlike to his “CS Media City” holding colleagues, “ArmNews” and “Armenia” TV channels, it had not participated in the competitions at all. “Hayrenik” TV had not taken part in the competitions, either, and merged with “AR” TV channel. The latter obtained a license for broadcasting youth/educational/scientific programs in Yerevan (both of the TV companies belong to the family of Hrant Vardanian, businessman, head of “Grand-Holding”).
A curious situation occurred with “Shoghakat”, the TV channel of Holy See Etchmiadzin, which had not applied to the competitions, as they did not provide for spiritual and cultural profiles’ licensing, the head of “Shoghakat” Manya Ghazarian explained. Meanwhile, since January 21, “Shoghakat” began broadcasting on the frequency of “Ararat” cultural TV channel of the Public TV and Radio Company. According to Manya Ghazarian, a relevant contract is concluded by “Shoghakat” and PTRC – at the moment for only one-month. Whereas, the fate of “Ararat” and more than 40 of its employees remains unclear.
The scope of coverage of “Kaym” TV company has also changed; earlier it rebroadcast the programs of First Channel of Russia on a national level. Given that “Kaym” was granted a license for rebroadcasting in Yerevan, the Russian First Channel is now only available to the inhabitants of Yerevan.
As regards the regional TV companies, which did not take part in the competitions or have lost them, they will continue analogue broadcasting till January 2015.