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CEC and BC Allowed “Teleradio-Moldova” to Broadcast Paid Election Advertising

13 September 2019
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The Broadcasting Council (BC) approved on Friday, 13 September, the statement concerning the editorial policy (including the price for advertising) of the public media service provider NPAI "Teleradio-Moldova" Company during election campaigns for the general and parliamentary local elections of 20 October 2019. Previously, the BC asked the Central Election Commission (CEC) to express its opinion about whether broadcasting paid election advertising is a right of public media service providers under the electoral legislation. Note that the broadcasting law does not provide revenues from election advertising when it comes to the budget of the national public provider.

In its turn, CEC recommended the BC members to approve the statements of "Teleradio-Moldova". Taking into account that public broadcaster are obliged by the Parliament to broadcast free election advertising during certain elections, they are also obliged to provide paid election advertising to all the applicants on equal terms’, states the letter of CEC to BC.
During the meeting, the member of the BC, Veronica Cojocaru requested "Teleradio-Moldova" to submit the information about the usual fees in order to check their compliance with the law. According to the law, the fees for the air time granted to election contestants may not exceed the typically collected fee for commercial advertising. At the same time, Cojocaru specified that in the opinion of media experts who developed the Audiovisual Media Services Code, the public providers should not broadcast paid election advertising in order provide equal conditions to all election contestants.
According to the Audiovisual Media Services Code "the revenues of the national media service provider come, as appropriate, from: a) amounts collected after broadcasting commercial communications during the events of major importance; b) amounts collected from selling the object of activity, including revenues from the sale of audiovisual programs or of copyrights from co-productions; c) donations and sponsorships; d) other legal sources".

Note that a minute of election advertising on Moldova 1 currently costs EUR 900, on Moldova 2 – EUR 150, on Radio Moldova News – EUR 60, and on Radio Moldova Youth – EUR 25.