STATEMENT

On August 4, 2017 due to the absence of applications National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR) recognized as failed the competition on licensing of the private multiplexer, conducted by the former on May 2-August 2, 2017. Let us recall that the first competition conducted in 2016 suffered the same fate.

This is a vivid example that the conditions stipulated by the RA Law “On Television and Radio” for creating and licensing private multiplexers are not compliant with modern requirements of development of the broadcasting sector, are not in line with the topical issues of the sphere, and are not attractive for business. In particular, the exclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises is unacceptable here. For instance, the legislative provision, according to which the coverage area of a private multiplexer must include the whole territory of Armenia, while there is no multiplexer envisaged to cover the communities and regions, does not offer any perspective for the sphere.

The recognition of the mentioned competition as failed means that public network of digital broadcasting, i.e. the state multiplexer will hold onto its monopoly position for indefinite period of time. Besides, more than ten regional TV companies, which keep operating in analogue mode and will be able to switch to digital broadcasting only in case of the existence of a private multiplexer, remain in limbo.

We, the undersigned, have repeatedly raised these issues and proposed solutions since 2010, when, the new Law “On Television and Radio” was being adopted, and in particular after December 18, 2015, when without any public debate the authorities made hasty amendments and supplements to the Law. Whereas our suggestions and draft laws submitted to the Parliament were not put into circulation.

Based on the above-mentioned we demand from:

– RA National Assembly to revisit the problems of broadcasting sector and initiate legislative solutions to them through conducting public debates on alternative approaches and putting into circulation the draft laws submitted to the Parliament;

– National Commission on Television and Radio to review the current principles and approaches of regulation of the broadcasting sector and take efficient steps towards the reform of broadcasting legislation and the resolution of a number of other issues related to it.

Having studied the broadcasting sector for years, we, the journalistic organizations, have consistently and publicly raised our positions and assessments and today we continue to express our readiness to take part in new discussions and introduce the recommendations and the documents developed by us.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

YEREVAN PRESS CLUB

MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER

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