GOVERNMENT BANS LIVE SATELLITE BROADCASTING

September 3rd, 2008
“Because of lack of a legislative basis, and taking Azerbaijan’s national security into consideration, Azerbaijani government will prohibit foreign TV and Radio companies to use satellite equipment for live broadcasting during 2008 presidential elections and bringing those equipments into the country.”

National TV and Radio Council (NTRC) Chairman Nushiravan Maharramli told this to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.
According to Maharramli, foreign mass media means will be able to use local TV and Radio transmission equipments if they pay a rental fee.
Answering IRFS’ question regarding on the legislative basis and norm related to the ban on bringing satellite transmission equipment into the country and using it, Maharramli said once again that the ban is applied automatically. There’s no legislation to regulate this area, he added.
Answering another question from IRFS about “if tens of foreign TV channels (besides seven local TV channels) come to the country when an important summit is conducted or leader of a foreign country comes to Azerbaijan, will it be possible to bring transmission equipments into the country and use them”, Maharramli said that there will be no ban in these cases. He noted that TV channels covering football games or other sports will be able to bring satellite transmission equipments and use them. “To be short, we impose ban on bringing and using equipment during elections,” emphasized Maharramli.
When asked about adopting law on satellite communication, Maharramli noted that it is within the powers of parliament, and experts in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies are currently working on a draft law on this matter.
Maharramli couldn’t answer IRFS’ question “On basis of what law local TV channels can hold live broadcasting using satellite within the country, and on what basis can they show these services to the foreign TV channels?”