Responding to a question from a reporter, REM confirmed that the licenses will be issued before the existing ones expire on August 4, Demostat said.
Commenting REM president Olivera Zekic’s statement that, in the process of deciding, the television stations’ previous work will not be taken into account, a Demostat report said that “this practically means that REM will not honor the provisions of the Electronic Media Law.”
“Under the provisions of this law, if an applicant had already provided media services, in the process of deciding REM must take into account its previous practices in fulfilling its obligations, as well as the honoring of the program schemes on the basis of which the previous license was issued,” Demostat said.
If the process of awarding national frequency licenses is not completed by August 4, “no television would be able to legally broadcast its program in the whole of the Serbian territory,” Demostat said.
“If a television station’s national frequency license expires and a new one is not issued to it, it has suspend broadcasts. If it fails to do so, REM requests from the operator to stop the distribution of content. However, televisions Pink, Happy, Prva and B92 would not, in this case, disappear from cable, because they have licenses for cable broadcasting that expire in 2004 and 2005,” the report said.
A total of 14 TV stations have applied for national frequency licences – Pink, Happy, Vesti, BK, Una, Nova S, N1, Prva, B92, Kopernikus, TV2, TV K1, TV Tanjug and Kurir. REM started interviewing applicants this week.