“Aravot” daily ended the article series, which analyzed the applications of the digital broadcast licensing competitions winners, announced by the National Commission on Television and Radio in December 2010. The applications’ copies were provided by National Commission on the request of Anna Israelian, the series author and “Aravot” observer.
On April 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7, 2011 “Aravot” presented the applications of the winners of competitions No.18-25 for regional TV channels of general profile: No.18 (Gegharquniq region) – “Media Holding Geghama” LLC; No.19 (Ararat region) – “Telelex” LLC, founder of “Artashat” TV channel; No.20 (Armavir region) – “Nor Dar, Nor Hazaramyak” LLC, founder of “Ayb” TV channel; No.21 (Vayots Dzor region) – “ArpaInform” LLC; No.22 (Kotayk region) – “’Abovyan’ TV Editorial Office” LLC, founder of “Abovyan” TV channel; No.23 (Shirak region) – “Tsayg” LLC, founder of “Tsayg” TV channel; No.24 (Syuniq region) –
“Dzagedzor TV Company” LLC, founder of “Sosi” TV company; No.25 (Aragatsotn region) – “Yerevan Media Holding” LLC.
Anna Israelian, particularly, noted that the winner of competition No.18 “Media Holding Geghama” LLC is a group of TV companies, which operate in several towns of Gegharquniq region: “Kyavar” (Gavar), “Zangak” (Martuni), “STV1” (Sevan).
The winner of competition No.20 “Nor Dar, Nor Hazaramyak” LLC was registered as the founder of “Ayb” TV channel only a few days before the deadline for submitting the applications to NCTR. As the piece stresses three of the four owners of “Nor Dar, Nor Hazaramyak” LLC are priests. In fact, the Holy See Etchmiadzin owns two TV channels – “Ayb” regional and “Shoghakat” national.
In the application of the winner of competition No.21, “ArpaInform” LLC, Anna Israelian has detected a contract in Russian. The contract regards a provision of a considerable loan by "Frunzik International Limited” company, which is registered in an offshore zone and holds a bank account in Switzerland. According to “Aravot”, the NCTR members should have received evidence on the credibility of such unusual company details and should have sent inquiries to respective institutions, as it was done in the case of founder of “A1+” TV channel, “Meltex” LLC, participant of competition No.11.
The business program of competition No.24 winner, “Dzagedzor TV Company” LLC, mentions that “Sosi” TV channel “is also the correspondent bureau of “Haylur” newscast of Public Television of Armenia”.
The winner of competition No.25, “Yerevan Media Holding” LLC, is the daughter company of “Yerevan TV Company” CJSC, which is the founder of “Yerevan” TV channel and has won competition No.8 for Yerevan TV channels of youth profile, Anna Israelian states. In the applications of the two TV channels’ founders the same companies belonging to the same person are indicated as financial sources. Besides, the programming of the regional and Yerevan TV companies partially coincide. Thus, “Aravot” emphasizes that if not de jure, but de facto Article 18 of RA “Law on Television and Radio” (“Anti-Trust Guarantees”) is violated. Pursuant to this Article legal entities may have a broadcast license for no more than one television company and one radio company, while physical persons and persons related to them may act as a founder and (or) participant of no more than two companies (one TV company and one radio company), implementing on-air broadcasting.