Closed TV Loses Final Chance to Resume Work

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–A1+–Armenia’s leading independent television forced off the air in 2002–lost Monday its apparently last chance of resuming broadcasts in the near future as authorities rejected its application for a new license for the fourth consecutive time this year.

The predictable decision by the National Commission on Television and Radio (HRAH) was the result of a tender for Armenia’s last available broadcasting frequency. All other frequencies have been distributed by the HRAH on a supposedly competitive basis since April 2002.

With a broadcasting license valid for seven years–the move means that A1+ will be unable to bid for a frequency in the next five years. The commission chairman–Grigor Amalian–said an extraordinary tender may take place during that period only if the HRAH decides to pull the plug on one of the operating private TV channels. But as things stand now–that seems very unlikely.

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