Reporting to Media.ge Mamuka Tskitishvili, Director General of the cable provider Black Sea Sat said he is willing co-operate with TV 9 after the elections too. Black Sea Sat, according to the must-carry rules, has been carrying TV 9 upon the receipt of the letter from the TV company.
“At the same time we were going to offer TV 9 a long-tern co-operation but we soon received another letter from them saying they were willing to co-operate only for two months in the run up to elections. Therefore, upon there request, we are going to carry them for two months and switch them off afterwards. Unless they want to collaborate with us we cannot force to?! Tskitishvili told Media.ge.
TV 9’s Director Kakha Bekauri confirmed the aforementioned to Media.ge. Co-operation with Black Sea Sat, he said, will hinder the broadcaster’s availability nationwide.
“Black Sea Sat wants us to break off with TurkSat, as a result we’ll be available via satellite not directly but through Black Sea Sat. Under the circumstances the authorities will be deciding whether to have us on or off. Besides, at this stage Black Sea Sat is not enjoying that many customers,” said Bekauri and thereby added “from the very beginning Black Sea Sat was offering to carry us. They even sent a letter to TurkSat to abrogate a contract with us and launch satellite broadcasting via Black Sea Sat. We did not wish so and now when obligated by law to carry TV companies upon the latter’s request we wrote to TurkSat clarifying that the process is temporary and we wish to further co-operation with them through direct contract.”
TV 9, Bekauri said, according to the must-carry rules, is being currently carried by several cable companies in Tbilisi. There are no big companies such as Super TV, Silknet and Caucaus Online among them, Bakauri said.
Media.ge got in touch with all of the three cable companies. The Caucasus Online spokesperson said the applications by Maestro TV and TV 9 have been received, the verification of technical parameters is being on and on August 2, after 18:00 hrs both of them will be included in their service package. Caucasus Online has got 8,341 subscribers across Tbilisi.
Super TV too, which counts 25,831 subscribers, is planning to carry TV 9. Super TV is anyway carrying Maestro and Kavkasia.
As regards Silknet the latter released a statement pointing out that they received a letter from TV 9 and following the arrangement of technical issues they will start fulfilling the obligation as of stipulated by law. Maestro TV is not likely to be carried by Silknet since the TV management is not planning to send a letter to Silknet. Reporting to Media.ge Maestro’s Director General Ilia (Bacho) Kikabidze said they demand an apology from Silknet. Silknet has got approximately 60,00 subscribers nationwide.
At this stage Maestro is being carried by several companies, including Rustavi-based company Tori and Kakheti-based TV company Gorda.
MagtiSat is now carrying Rustavi 2, Imedi, Channel 9, Channel 25. The company representative Tatuli Gviniahvili told Media.ge that MagtiSat will be carrying the companies which hold license for satellite broadcasting and have compatible technical parameters. MagtiSat has got 1,600 subscribers.
Kavksia TV Director Nino Jangirashvili is not going to send letters to the cable companies she is going to directly get in touch with the provider companies and after the arrangement of technical issues a lengthy discussion might follow.
Cable companies are obliged to carry to TV companies in the run up to elections, according to must-carry rules following the amendments made to the Election Code. According to the legislative norm adopted on June 29 in the pre-election period cable companies shall carry all of the broadcasters holding general licenses. But cable companies are obliged to carry broadcasters upon their written requests. At the same time according to the temporary obligation cable operators have a right to carry either TV company without their consent.