Some building owners in Azerbaijan ban licensed cable operat...| MENAFN.COM

Monday, 08 August 2022 01:46 GMT

Some building owners in Azerbaijan ban licensed cable operators from residential buildings - NTRC head (Interview)


(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 4

By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

Trend's interview with Chairman of the National Television and Radio Council (NTRC) of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ismet Sattarov.

What is the general situation with Azerbaijani TV channels now?

Currently there are positive tendencies. Since January 28, most Azerbaijani TV channels, including AZTV, Idman TV, Medeniyyet TV, ITV, ATV, Xazar TV, Space TV, Real TV and ARB Gunash, have been broadcast from satellite in HD format. Previously, four TV channels - CBC, CBC Sport, ARB 24 and ARB were broadcast in such format. Thus, only two TV channels - Muz TV and Dunya TV broadcast from the satellite in SD format. The majority of TV viewers in the country are now watching television in a higher quality format.

I believe that the low number of complaints that were received during the transition to HD is an indicator of a successful transition. It's also gratifying that recently various TV channels have been creating new studios that meet international standards. At the same time, private TV channels still have financial problems, and the problem of shortage of personnel can be attributed to all TV channels.

One of the reasons for dissatisfaction of viewers is advertising on TV. People often complain about the length of ads. Do TV channels comply with advertising rules?

At present, the situation with compliance with the rules of advertising is satisfactory. Previously, TV channels exceeded the advertising limits. According to the legislation, the maximum limit for an ad block per hour is 12 minutes, and given the difficult financial situation in 2015, the limit for broadcasters was increased to 15 minutes. However, the channels didn't comply with this limit either, and the duration of advertising blocks reached 17-18 minutes, and sometimes even 21 minutes. Since 2020, we have begun to reduce these limits, warned TV channels, and even fined some of them. Today there is a 12-minute limit. In rare cases, the limit is exceeded, mainly for technical reasons.

What is the situation with sponsorship advertising in programs?

This issue, of course, is also controlled. As I mentioned, earlier the limits were significantly exceeded. Sometimes, in one program, sponsored advertising lasted 11 minutes. Today the limit of such advertising is up to 3 minutes per hour.

Let's talk about illegal cable broadcasting. It's known, in particular, about the facts of illegal cable broadcasting in multi-storey residential buildings. What measures are being taken by the NTRC in this direction?

The activity of cable television (cable television operators) without a license is illegal. More than 50 broadcasting operators function in Azerbaijan under the license of NTRC. I advise illegal operators to obtain a license, which is a very simple procedure. In the future, serious measures will be taken against such activities. We receive complaints in connection with illegal cable broadcasting. With the enforcement of the law 'On media', it will be possible to more actively combat this problem.

How can it be determined whether a cable television operator is functioning legally?

Citizens can see the list of legally operating cable or IPTV operators on the NTRC website in the 'Broadcast Operators' section. Some newly built residential buildings have illegal cable or IPTV operators affiliated with the housing construction cooperatives, and the owners of the cooperatives prevent activity of licensed operators in these buildings, causing dissatisfaction among the residents. With the enforcement of the new law and the conduct of relevant activities in this direction by the council, there will be no more such cases.

The creation of a national children's TV channel in Azerbaijan has long been a subject of discussions...

True. Presently, children's 'ARB Gunash' channel operates in Azerbaijan, but it has limited capabilities, and doesn't fully meet the needs of society in this sphere. Unfortunately, companies do not show interest in this area, since income in this case is incomparable with expenses. We hope that this issue will be resolved.

Recently, a tender has been announced in connection with the opening of an educational and scientific-educational nationwide TV channel, but it was canceled due to unsatisfactory technical capabilities of the participants. Are you planning to hold a similar tender again?

It's possible that such a tender will be announced again. The tender commission, having studied the possibilities of the participants, came to the conclusion that none of them has the necessary potential to open such a TV channel. We hope that in future such a channel will be opened.

Today, the number of internet channels is increasing. Do they receive requests to connect to broadcasting in cable or IPTV packages?

Appeals are received, but the problem is that at present there are gaps in the respective legislation, because at the time when the law 'On Television and Radio Broadcasting' was being adopted, there was no internet TV yet.

This issue was reflected in the law 'On Mass Media'. If the bill comes into force, internet channels will be able to acquire a broadcasting license, and organize broadcasting in the packages of cable television and IPTV operators. Internet channels must have worthy content so that a cable TV or IPTV operator is also willing to broadcast them.

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