YPC Weekly Newsletter

2011


“A1+” CONTESTS THE DENIAL ON GRANTING A BROADCAST LICENSE

On February 17 at “Congress” hotel in Yerevan the press conference of “A1+” TV company Head Mesrop Movsesian and “A1+” attorneys Tigran Ter-Yesayan and Alexander Sahakyan was held. At the meeting it was announced that on February 21 “Meltex” LLC, founder of “A1+”, will file a lawsuit against National Commission on Television and Radio, contesting the results of competition No.11 on digital broadcast licensing. “Meltex” demands to restore its violated rights and nullify the December 16, 2010 NCTR decision on competition No.11. As it has been reported, the founders of “A1+” and “ArmNews” TV channels were opponents in this competition, and on December 16 “ArmNews” became the winner: its application was assessed by NCTR members by 44 points, while the one of “A1+” – by only 2 points (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, December 17-23, 2010). On December 20 “A1+” founder addressed to the RA Administrative Court claiming to bind NCTR to grant the application copies of “ArmNews” CJSC and “Armenia TV” CJSC (participant of competition No.1). On January 20, 2011 the requested documents were provided (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, January 10-20, 2011).

As “A1+” representatives mentioned at the press conference, they have revealed a number of discrepancies in the “ArmNews” application, which were either not paid attention to or deliberately neglected by NCTR. In particular, the single supporting document on the financial assistance to the business program of “ArmNews” is the letter of guarantee of “Ameriabank”. The letter stressed the readiness of “Ameriabank” to provide a loan to “ArmNews” LLC, while the founder of the TV channel is “ArmNews” CJSC. Besides, “A1+” representatives presented some questionable information about the TV company’s employees, mentioned in “ArmNews” application. According to “A1+”, NCTR has considered and assessed the applications in a subjective and selective manner: it has detected the shortcomings of “Meltex” application, not noticing the faults in the application of “Meltex” rival.

Thus, NCTR will have to defend from two suits of “A1+” founder. On February 3 “Meltex” filed the RA Administrative Court demanding to oblige the NCTR seven members to reply to its’ inquiries of January 17 (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, February 4-10, 2011). The suit is submitted to consideration.

Meanwhile, “Aravot” daily informed about the upcoming articles series, which will examine the applications of the digital broadcast competition winners. The applications copies were provided by NCTR on the request of Anna Israelian, the series’ author and “Aravot” observer. The first piece was published in “Aravot” on February 17, 2011 and dealt with competition No.1, the winner of which became “Armenia TV” CJSC, founder of “Armenia” TV channel. The article “These Are the Suggestions of Winners No.1” listed the contradictions in the application of “Armenia TV”. Specifically, Anna Israelian highlighted that the applications of “Armenia” and “ArmNews” include resumes of the same people, claimed as employees of each TV channel. “(…) This demonstrates the well-known fact, as it is, the companies have the same assets”, “Aravot” concluded.