LAW ON TELEVISION AND RADIO BROADCASTING AMENDED

April 3rd, 2009
Today, 3 April, the Milli Mejlis, amended the law on “Television and Radio Broadcasting.” Milli Mejlis Cultural Committee Chairman Nizami Jafarov told this to the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety.

According to Jafarov, in the document that the committee presented to the Milli Mejlis 8 changes to four articles were proposed and the Milli Mejlis voted to adopt the document in this form. Jafarov said the amendments are not coincidental, and envisage the regulation of some legal matters in the sphere television and radio broadcasting that were previously lacking.
According to the changes:
    * Relevant government agencies must be informed about any proposed changes in the ownership or shares of a private tele-radio broadcaster.  Within two months, the government will express its opinion about whether the proposed change comports to the law on Tele-radio Broadcasting, and then the changes shall be made. Private broadcasters have one month to present to relevant government agencies new documents reflecting the change;
    * If the demands of this law and/or the conditions and rules of special agreements (licenses) are violated, a lawsuit is filed;
    * in necessary cases (events that are significant to the public, elections, important athletic competitions, etc.) foreign television and radio stations to broadcast via satellite within Azerbaijan;
    * if the demands of this law and/or the rules and conditions of special agreements (licenses) are violated a special agreement (license) can be temporarily or the broadcasting of a particular program can revoked for up to one month through a court decision;
    * special agreements (licenses) can be revoked when a broadcaster is sanctioned by relevant government organs three times or more within one year;
    * there can be no more than twelve (12) minutes of advertisements and/or telemarketing per hour of programming;
    * broadcasters must broadcast the same programming on their frequency throughout Azerbaijan.
    * private broadcasters who have violated the law on Tele-radio broadcasting are obligated to, within the timeframe stipulated by the government, broadcast information about their violation on their own TV or radio channel.