RTR Moldova, Cinema 1, and PEH TV Fined 5 000 Lei Each for Breaching the Broadcasting License Provisions

On October 21, the Broadcasting Council (BC) fined such channels as RTR Moldova, Cinema 1, and PEH TV due to their non-compliance with the general concept of the program service. The monitoring was conducted on September 12-18 on the basis of the application by the BC member Ruslan Mihalevschi.

Vasile Plesca, Head of the Control Department, mentioned during the meeting that the three channels were breaching the provisions which were part of the general concept pursuant to which they had obtained their broadcasting license. “The license holder shall comply with the structure of the audiovisual programs and inform the BC of the modifications in the broadcasting schedule, enclosing the modified schedule,” Plesca mentioned.

During the checkups, the BC Control Department, previously known as the Monitoring Department, detected that some data from the records filed to the BC by the three broadcasters for the monitored period of time differed from the real state of things.

For instance, RTR Moldova stated that it was broadcasting 19% of its own products on September 12-18, whereas the monitoring results demonstrated 0%. The data also revealed 0% in the educational and cultural broadcasting category, while the channel reported it aired 14%. Besides, it indicated it had 1% of advertising, while the monitoring revealed 10.91%. In addition, in the same period of time, the channel broadcast a lower amount of informative and analytical programs and a higher percentage of movies and other types of broadcasts. As to retransmitted programs, RTR Moldova indicated 33.5%, whereas the control revealed an amount of 63%.

The other two TV channels monitored by the BC did not comply with the provisions of the broadcasting license in terms of the general concept and structure of the audiovisual programs either. During the respective period of time, Cinema 1 and PEH TV produced 0% of their own products; retransmitted/borrowed/purchased programs amounted for over 60% of the programs broadcast, which is a much higher percentage than that indicated in the concept of the program service. The percentages rates reserved for European audiovisual works were not respected; the structure of the audiovisual media service by types of programs was not complied with. Cinema 1, for instance, indicated 42% of rebroadcast programs (mainly the series produced in the Russian Federation), but, according to the BC report, they amounted to 66.07%. PEH TV claimed it aired 56% of its own products, whereas monitoring revealed 0%. As to rebroadcast programs, which includes programs and series from the Russian Federation, this channel indicated 11%, but actually broadcast 81.35% of them, according to the BC.

The members of the Council were also informed about the fact that, before the meeting, a letter from TV Comunicatii, a company which is the founder of RTR Moldova, had arrived at the address of the BC. The channel’s administration had requested to postpone the meeting for a week for the reason that the BC monitoring results allegedly did not match their own data, and RTR Moldova expected to receive “the correct timing data” from the monitoring authority.

In her response, Ana Gonta, the BC Vice President, reminded those present about a similar situation when the same channel had been questioning the results of the BC monitoring on the amount of the local products broadcast. “They sent us a catalog where each program was timed, how long it lasted, and how we calculated it. We rejected that catalog, because there are formulas according to which the BC department calculates the quotas, and they can be consulted at any moment, they are public and transparent, and no one is interested in falsifying or interpreting the data in a different manner,” Gonta said.

By unanimous vote, the BC members attending the meeting decided to apply a minimum fine of 5 000 lei to the three channels.

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