The Broadcasting Council fined four TV channels for breaching the provisions on broadcasting quotas for local audiovisual programs and broadcasts in Romanian. The decision was taken at the meeting on April 27.
The Broadcasting Council examined the report on monitoring eight TV channels for March 21-27. These are 10TV, Media TV, Popas TV, Gurinel TV, Publika TV, Canal 3, N4, and Mega TV. The monitoring results demonstrated that Publika TV, Canal 3, N4, and Mega TV were breaching the legal provisions on the required volume of local products and broadcasts in Romanian. For the insufficiency of local audiovisual programs and failure to provide at least 80% of broadcasts in Romanian, Publika TV was sanctioned and publicly warned. Canal 3 was fined 22 000 lei for repeated breaches of the provisions regarding the local products and broadcasts in Romanian. N4 was fined 6 000 lei for repeated breaches, and Mega TV was fined 10 000 lei.
Publika TV representatives informed the BC that they considered the calculation of the share of local programs in Romanian indicated as a monitoring result to be erroneous. “It is considered that the calculation of the share of 80% stipulated by Art. 4 p. 7 of the Code of Audiovisual Media Services is to be based not on the amount of time for local programs, but on the amount of time according to the classification,” Victoria Cecan, the head of the TV Monitoring Department, quoted a fragment from their reply. The channel’s administration requested that “80% of local broadcasts in Romanian be calculated from the amount of local programs which fall within the mandatory quota of local programs, which is four hours a day for a national TV channel, not from the amount of local programs broadcast.”
Valentin Afteni, representative of N4 TV channel, specified during a telephone conversation that, from a technical point of view, the hours are calculated according to a different scheme in the TV channel working process. “As far as I understand, the BC calculates them as astronomical hours, i.e. 60 minutes. On the TV, however, we need technological time for advertising, self-promotion, etc. Our hour lasts for about 45 minutes, and, if we calculate it that way, we are making enough products,” Valentin Afteni affirmed. According to him, eight hours of local product would actually mean more than 10 hours on the TV.
MEGA TV informed the BC that they “regretted the breaches committed” and would avoid them in the future.
In this context, Liliana Vitu, President of the BC, mentioned that, when making decisions on such cases, the authority should be guided by the current regulations, and in the future, consultations would be organized with the suppliers, including eventual modification of the calculation methodology for the amount of local products.
In addition to the mentioned channels, in the future, the BC will examine similar monitoring results for ITV and Familia TV channels in order to verify the accumulated data. Previously, the BC monitored 13 TV channels to check their compliance with the provision on the amount of local products and broadcasts in Romanian.