Serbia’s Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM) has provided a detailed explanation as to why it awarded four national terrestrial TV licences to existing broadcasters.
In a statement, it firstly confirmed that all 14 candidates for the four licences fulfilled the requirements in the tender documents.
It went on to say: “When deciding which applicants to issue licenses to, the Council of Regulators took into account all the facts that would affect the achievement of greater quality and diversity of content and, through a comparative-qualitative analysis of the fulfillment of the criteria, came to the conclusion that the applicants will be TV Pink, National Happy TV, Prva and TV B92, to a greater extent than the other applicants, justify the existence of multiple benefits for viewers throughout the Republic, primarily through an objective and timely approach to the transmission of information, through its own production of program content as evidence of overall production possibilities and the variety of programme genres offered in a way to meet the needs of the widest audience. audience and strengthen media pluralism.
“When deciding, the Council also took into account that the fact of the previous work of the four applicants and their economic viability, as well as the fact that they broadcast the programme since 2006 and that in 2015 they fully fulfilled the way and time schedule of transition from analogue to digital broadcasting and distribution of programs (digitalisation process) and invested funds to make a technological leap towards digital transformation.
“The Council especially appreciated the guarantees given by the applicants in the proposal of the programme elaboration, which will become an integral part of the issued permit, that in the coming period they will further improve the existing program, deal with important social issues, work to protect media pluralism and be open to different opinions. arguments and ideas in order to encourage the widest social dialogue and contribute to the further improvement of media standards in the field of information, culture and education.
“Bearing in mind all of the above, the Council made a decision with the required majority of votes, in accordance with Article 96 of the Law on Electronic Media”.
Broadband TV News notes that REM’s decision to award the licences has been strongly criticised. All four winners are supporting of the Serbian government and the regulator’s decision is final.