The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), with the view of securing full entry of must-carry rules into force, calls on broadcasters and cable operators to demonstrate constructive approach. In its statement released on August 3 the Commission requests frequency and satellite broadcasters to secure the delivery of signal to cable operators without hindrance and extra red tape and on the other hand urges cable operators to provide the delivery of signal to final customers.
With this statement the Commission responded to the claims voiced by the Maestro and TV 9 managements. They think the obligation for sending a letter of request to the cable operators is the obstacle set up by GNCC and this procedure is not mandatory by law. According to TV 9 Director General Kakha Bakeuri seven of the letters sent to the provider companies were delivered back.
GNCC clarifies that in order to fulfill the obligations according to the Election Code of Georgia communication should be in place between cable operators and interested broadcasters. The broadcaster should secure the provision of technical data on the one hand and (e.g. broadcasting frequency or satellite’s coordinates, video/audio signal coding an etc.) on the other hand technical delivery of its own broadcasting signal to the switch determined by cable operators while the cable operator is responsible to carry the delivered signal through to the subscribers.
That’s the way international good practice looks and these kind of clarifications were repeatedly provided at the meetings held with the cable companies and broadcasters following GNCC’s initiative.
“In case the cable operator is not provided required technical data from the broadcaster and the broadcaster fails to secure the delivery of signal to the cable operator the latter will be technically unable to carry the channel,” the GNCC statement points out.
Provided the broadcaster delivers the signal to the cable operator and the latter fails to launch carrying the channel and deliver signal to the subscriber the broadcaster is entitled to apply to the Commission and the Commission shall examine the case within 48 hours and apply legal measures to the perpetrator, in particular issue a warning to the broadcaster but in case the broadcaster fails to eradicate the violation the Commission shall suspend the authorization for a one-year term.
According to GNCC’s statement from August 3 a special hot line will be launched 0800-900-907 and 0800-900-908 in order to help advance communication between cable operators and general license holder broadcasters and promptly respond to disputable issues.
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.