ATV International TV Channel purchased by SOCAR

April 10th, 2013

A press conference has been held in connection with the separation of ATV International TV channel from Azad Azerbaijan Television (ATV) and its functioning with a different name under another organization, APA Information Agency reported on April 10. According to the report, ATV president Vugar Garadaghli said that lately ATV International has experienced problems with financing. In this case, it was decided to sell ATV International. According to Garadagli, the proposals on the sale of the TV were estimated by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). “From now on ATV International will operate under SOCAR Media Public Union” said Garadagli.

SOCAR vice-president Khalig Mammadov said that SOCAR is implementing several projects: “Our Company is implementing international projects not only in Azerbaijan, but also in a number of other countries. Therefore we felt that this process needs media support. So, we decided to buy ATV International. SOCAR Media Public Union has no obligations before the SOCAR. It will simply function as a social project,” he said.

Mammadov said the channel will be a non-commercial organization and its budget will be formed through the grants. The director of the TV channel will be journalist Azer Khalilov

Director of ATV International Azer Khalilov said ATV International will be renamed as CBC (Caspian Broadcasting Company). The channel will uphold national idea and ideology of tolerance, and promote Azerbaijan in the world. Khalilov said currently the channel broadcasts programs in Persian, Armenian, Russian and English, this process will be continued.

Background: In its April 2 meeting  the National Television and Radio Council (NTRC) adopted a decision to grant a 6-year special permit (license) to the Caspian International Broadcasting Company LLC for broadcasting a TV channel via satellite. However NTRC representative rebutted in a media statement that the newly established TV channel was purchased by the SOCAR.