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Media NGOs request return to the grids of retransmitted television channels as of 31 December 2013

13 January 2014
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Non-governmental organizations working in the media field are concerned with the exclusion of some television channels from the retransmission grids of some service providers or their transfer into other packages offered to consumers and request that the activity of the companies retransmitting television signals be regulated according to the national legislation and good European practices in the field.

Media NGOs learned with concern about the changes made earlier this year in the grids of retransmitted channels of some service providers; about the declarations of television channels excluded from the grids that point out violations of bilateral agreements signed with service providers; and about the political nature of these decisions, unfair competition, and restriction of freedom of expression on the broadcasting market.

The signatory organizations request that the Broadcasting Coordinating Council, as guarantor of public interest in broadcasting, apply legal mechanisms to oblige service providers to return to the grids of retransmitted channels as of 31 December 2013. Also, the BCC and the Competition Council (the public authority that inspects and sanctions competition) should investigate the accusations of a cartel agreement designed to eliminate some broadcasters from the media market and, eventually, sanction the guilty persons/companies.

Companies retransmitting TV signals should be regulated based on the provisions of the national legislation and on the best European practices in the field. We point out that according to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, countries should make efforts to avoid having transmitted or retransmitted channels jeopardize media pluralism. In the opinion of media NGOs, the draft decision of the BCC concerning the channels that are mandatory for retransmission in Moldova should be subjected to wide public debates with the participation of stakeholders including service providers and broadcasters with an eventual expert analysis by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU-UER) in order to set correct criteria, justified from the perspective of public interest, that would be used to include channels on the list for mandatory retransmission and to avoid eventual favoring of some privately owned companies.

The signatory organizations request that mass media cover the conflict between retransmission companies and some broadcasters in an equitable and objective manner without exaggerating or distorting reality.

Association of Independent Press
Independent Journalism Center
Press Freedom Committee
“Acces-info” Center
Association of Independent Television Journalists
Journalistic Investigations Center
APEL Electronic Press Association