14 january

Media NGOs condemn removal of some TV channels from lineups

A number of media NGOs are condemning the removal of several TV stations from the channel lineups proposed by rebroadcasting companies or their relegation to other TV packages. They also demand that the activity of rebroadcasting providers be regulated in conformity with the national legislation and best European practices in the field. This comes in reaction to the recent removal or transferal of the television channels Accent TV, RTR Planeta and Jurnal TV from standard packages.

In a statement published today, the NGOs are requesting the Broadcasting Coordination Council (CCA), as a protector of public interest in the audiovisual field, to apply the legal mechanisms in order to compel the service providers to restore their lineups to the situation as of 31 December 2013. Further, the BCC and the Competition Council are urged to investigate the allegations of anti-competitive agreements aimed at eliminating certain broadcasters from the market and to punish those responsible.

The statement adds that the BCC's draft decision proposing a mandatory list of TV channels to be rebroadcast by the TV providers must be put up for a broad debate that involves all the stakeholders. The NGOs suggest that the European Broadcasting Union could be asked for an amicus brief on the draft decision to make sure that its provisions don't favor certain companies.

The media are urged to provide an unbiased and objective coverage of the conflict between the rebroadcasting companies and some broadcasters, without exaggerating or distorting the facts.

The statement was signed by the Independent Press Association, the Independent Journalism Center, the Committee for Press Freedom, “Acces-info” Center, the Association of Independent TV Journalists, the Investigative Journalism Center and the Electronic Press Association APEL.