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Which TV stations received the most money from the Broadcasting Fund in the last three years?

31 May 2018
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In 2017, the largest funding from the Broadcasting Support Fund, distributed by the Broadcasting Coordinating Council (BCC), was received by SOR TV and Radio Soroca managing company, specifically MDL 424,000. The largest amount in 2016 was allocated to Gurinel TV channel: MDL 500,000; while in 2015, Moldova Sport benefited from MDL 600,000, later turning from a specialized channel to a general one and changing its name to Impact TV. The executive director of the Electronic Press Association (APEL), Ion Bunduchi, pointed out the lack of clear and objective criteria for nomination of the winning applications and determination of the assigned amounts. The expert believes that for better use of money, these funds should be managed by an independent organization, under the BCC supervision.

According to the Council's activity report, the broadcasting regulator allocated MDL 1,523,000 for support and promotion of local audiovisual shows and programs in 2017. A total number of 25 audiovisual projects were funded (13 TV and 12 radio projects).

The largest funding in 2017 was assigned to Mar-Sor, the founder of SOR TV and Radio Soroca. In total, this company received MDL 424,000, out of which MDL 300,000 were distributed to SOR TV for the ‘Life Without Violence’ project (18 issues of 60 minutes each) and MDL 100,000 to Radio Soroca for the ‘Save the Children’ project (32 issues of 60 minutes each).

The founder of Mar-Sor is Violina Cernatinschi, with a 100% share, and its manager is Constantin Volnitchi. Mar-Sor was founded in 2001.
The second broadcaster awarded the highest amount, is FLOR-TV for the ‘How to Love Your Child’ project (12 issues of 60 minutes each). The respective channel was allocated MDL 200,000.

In 2016, BCC allocated MDL 1,154,600 from the Broadcasting Support Fund to finance production of public interest audiovisual programs. In total, 8 broadcast projects were financed.

That year, most of the money was distributed to Gurinel Media, the founder of Gurinel TV channel, for the ‘Children’s World’ programme (30 issues of 60 minutes). BCC allocated MDL 500,000 to Gurinel TV for this programme.

The owner of Gurinel Media is Eduard Gurin, with a 100% share, and the manager of the company is Olga Gurin. The enterprise was founded in 2012. Gurinel TV is a television with programs for children.

The second TV channel with the most funding in that year was Elita TV, offered MDL 100,000 for the ‘As It Is’ programme (8 issues of 45 minutes).

In 2015, BCC took the decision to finance 17 broadcast projects from the Broadcasting Support Fund, with MDL 1,450,720.

The Fund’s largest amount in 2015 was given to Mediamax TV, the founder of Moldova Sport channel. In order to produce the total volume of broadcasting within the projected submitted to the contest, BCC allocated MDL 600,000.

In June 2017, Moldova Sport specialized channel turned into Impact TV, as a general channel. The channel’s new owner was Marcel Darie, politician and leader of the ‘Frontul Salvarii Moldovei‘ [Moldova's Salvation Front] Party and president of the National Arm-wrestling Federation of Moldova.

Moldova Sport was the first sports television channel in Moldova, launched on 30 May 2014, and acknowledged as a personal project of Tudor Gorea, president of the Oriental-Kickboxing Federation of Moldova.

The TV channels Busuioc TV and Prut each received MDL 100,000 in 2015.

Contacted by Media-azi.md to comment on the way the applications and assigned amounts for broadcasters support are designated, APEL executive director, Ion Bunduchi, said that the mechanisms are not too clear:  ‘Fund’s sources have been offered to several broadcasters, on a competitive basis, for programmes tackling important topics. So far so good. Though until today, BCC has no clear, objective, measurable criteria either for the contest winning entries designation or for the determination of the amounts to be allocated. This creates too much room for errors. Moreover, there is no comprehensive and in-depth assessment of the real impact of pecuniary financial resources allocated to broadcasters’, Bunduchi said.

The media expert said that, although BCC's last year support for editorial projects from the Fund sources is welcomed, this money could also be used to solve other problems: ‘For instance, supporting the few channels that had to give up national multiplex A slots because of the extremely high tariffs (EUR 5,600 per month); or the local/regional broadcasters’ periodic audience measurement (they do not have resources to pay such services, while the audience data is very important when talking to advertisers); or creating a continuous training centre for audiovisual employees; opening a centre for subtitling, sounding, doubling television programs/ films, etc’.

Likewise, APEL executive director mentioned that, albeit the Broadcasting Fund is formed of broadcasters' contributions, a significant part of it, about a third, is used for other purposes, including travel of BCC members to various meetings outside the country. Therefore, the expert believes that a more acceptable option would be for the Fund to be managed by an independent organization, under the BCC supervision.
The Broadcasting Support Fund consists of revenues from licensing fees under the current legislation and revenues from the annual fees for covering regulatory expenses, paid by broadcasters as 1% amount of the annual turnover and grants.

Allocation of the Fund gathered sources is made upon a BCC's decision, and can be spent to fund social interest programs production by broadcasters (cultural, educational, etc.); organization of seminars, trainings, etc.; for capacity building, promotion of audiovisual communication principles and others.