License Fee to be set for Foreign TV Channels Broadcasting in Azerbaijan Chief of National TV-Radio Broadcasting Council

Society Materials 6 September 2006 14:42 (UTC +04:00)

The time has come to set the license fee for foreign TV channels broadcasting in Azerbaijan, Trend reports quoting Nushiravan Maherramli, Chairman of National TV-Radio Broadcasting Council.

He said a few TV channels had not extended their license to date. To solve this problem the Council will commence reviewing foreign TV channels licenses. The foreign TV and radio channels that are broadcast in Azerbaijan, he said, are not legally documented as they operate without any license. In general, the Council does not hold any documents from foreign TV channels and we need to define the kind of their activity, he said.

Maherramli said the Council was not planning to suspend the operations of the channels. Our aim is to monitor their activity to our legislation. Azerbaijan is a legal state with its own regulations on which operation of the foreign channels should be based upon. At present, duty is not charged for use of foreign channels in Azerbaijan. However, a license fee should be imposed at a feel higher than that for local TV channels, he underlined. Azerbaijan needs to follows world trends in this respect added Maherramli.

Maherramli envisaged that the new rules would come under protest. Azerbaijan has enjoyed favorable conditions. Foreign channels in other countries broadcast via satellite. Azerbaijan issues frequencies as it does for local channels, even for local broadcasting. Broadcasting will be suspended should companies disagree, he said.

He also said operations on the control of the foreign channels will be launched in autumn 2006 until 2007.

Five foreign TV companies (2 Russian and three Turkish) and 6 radio channels (Azadlig, voice of America, BBC, Radio-France, Mayak and Voice of Russia) are presently broadcasting in Azerbaijan.