BC: “Some Errors Were Made”. The Fine Applied to Elita TV Channel, Annulled Almost Six Months Later

The Broadcasting Council (BC) annulled its decision to sanction the Elita TV channel because it had allegedly failed to comply with the obligation to standardize the sound level of audiovisual programs while broadcasting advertizing spots. The decision was made at the meeting held on May 12.

On December 23, 2022, the BC fined the Elita TV regional provider 5000 lei. The decision was made upon examining a monitoring report of ten TV channels, which stated, among other things, that the Elita TV channel had allegedly committed some breaches related to the sound level while broadcasting the “Moldova pentru Pace” spot, which was categorized by the BC as commercial audiovisual communication.

The sanctioning decision was appealed against in court on February 9, 2023. In its appeal, the media outlet argued that a video spot broadcast with minor sound deviations fell under the category of messages of public interest and did not belong to the category of commercial communication, for the non-compliant broadcast of which the BC was entitled to apply sanctions. The provider emphasizes that, on March 11, 2022, the BC recommended all the TV channels to broadcast some spots promoting the “Moldova pentru Pace” campaign as messages of public interest.

During the BC meeting of May 12, 2023, Grigore Chițanu, head of the authority’s legal department, suggested that the members consider the possibility of annulling the sanction. “After analyzing the lawsuit, it has been stated that some errors were made when the decision was adopted,” he specified.

The decision to annul the sanction imposed on the Elita TV provider for (non-) compliance with the obligation to standardize the audiovisual program sound level with that used for advertising was approved by the votes of all the six members attending the meeting.

When asked by the BC member Ruslan Mihalevschi about the development of the case initiated in the court, which is currently being examined at Chisinau Court, the head of the BC legal department specified that the decision to annul the sanction would be attached to the file, and the court would issue a conclusion to terminate the procedure.

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