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Armenia’s Embattled TV Seeks Renewed Broadcast


Armenia -- Mesrop Movsesian, the owner and director of the A1+ TV station, undated.

Armenia -- Mesrop Movsesian, the owner and director of the A1+ TV station, undated.

Armenia’s leading independent television controversially taken off the air more than eight years ago has made another bid to regain its broadcasting license amid lingering concerns about the fairness of the ongoing contest.


The previous twelve bids made by A1+ since 2002 proved unsuccessful.

Mesrop Movsesian, the head of the television’s founding company, Meltex, told RFE/RL on Wednesday that the application submitted to the National Commission on Television and Radio (HRAH) is “a good presentation” and that the company intends to be guided by its submitted project should it succeed in receiving a license.

Movsesian did not reveal details, but said that “the chosen direction is news and 24-hour broadcast.”

“The rest will be clear after the unsealing of the [contest] package,” he added.

The Armenian authorities controversially suspended, for two years, the supposedly competitive licensing process in 2008 citing the need to expedite the country’s transition to mandatory digital broadcasting by 2013.

The move came shortly after the European Court of Human Rights fined them over the HRAH’s consistent rejection of A1+ applications for a new frequency and has been widely viewed as a measure to preclude the company’s immediately return to the air.

The HRAH has repeatedly claimed that the tenders in which A1+ failed to regain its broadcasting license were objective and truly competitive.

The commission told RFE/RL on Wednesday that it will publish details regarding the number and names of this year’s contenders through its website on October 22 in accordance with the requirements of the law.

October 20 was the last day for the submission of applications and accompanying documents in the tender for broadcasting licenses.

The outcomes of the contest are due to be announced in December.
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