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Eleven companies submit requests for four Private TV license tender

A total eleven companies submitted requests to participate in the private television license tender that “puts an end to 25 years of illegality” so Media Minister Nikos Pappas.  The license procedure takes place through an international tender and will be conducted by Greece’s independent regulatory authority, the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV).

Among the eleven companies are the known TV channels, ANT1 (Kyriakoy), Skai (Alafouzos), Star (Vardinogiannis), Epsilon (Vryonis), Alpha (Kontominas), ART (Karatzaferis) but also Mega TV that has been struggling with debts and liquidity.

In addition, files were submitted also by two football club owners: businessman Savvidis of FC PAOK (DIMERA TV) and businessman and  shipowner Marinakis(FC Olympiakos/Alter Ego TV).

Another business family (Kalogritsas) made a request as well as a company from Cyprus represented by lawyers.

The cost for a nation-wide TV license is 3 million euro.

The license procedure that takes take place through an international tender and will be conducted by Greece’s independent regulatory authority, the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV).

Short-listed candidates will be announced on July 14th, the final list of participants on August 2nd.

The planned auction and announcement of provisional successful bidders will be on 12-17 August.

In October 2015, the Greek parliament approved a new media bill, delivering on promises made under the bailout agreed on by Athens and its international creditor last July.

According to the government the law aims to open up competition in the media market to new players. But the “new players” are fairly few and not so “international.”

“Greece is the only EU country that has never launched any licensing process for private TV channels for 25 years, maintaining the lawless regime of temporary licenses,” Minister Pappas has defended the changes. However, opposition parties accused Syriza of trying to take control of the media and limit media pluralism.

Over the weekend, a new intense controversy sparked between SYRIZA and opposition parties like New Democracy and PASOK over a letter by sent by European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society in the European Commission, Guenther Oettinger.

Being quite lost in translation, Greek opposition accused SYRIZA for having hidden the letter and claimed that the EU Commissioner was allegedly telling the Greek government that the decision to limit the TV licenses to four was against EU regulations.

The Association of Private TV Stations of National Range blamed Minister Pappas for “hiding” the exchange of letters with the executive and noted that the attempt to limit the spectrum was contrary to the European legislation. “The European Commission clearly condemned the move to issue only four licenses,” the Association wrote in a statement.

According to an exclusive report by EurActiv.com, the European Commission confirmed yesterday (3 July) that on 16 June, the executive sent a ‘Letter of Formal Notice’ to Greece expressing concerns about recent legislative changes in the telecoms sector, however said that the infringement proceeding was “not related to the licensing of content providers in Greece”.

“The Commission fears that these changes are not in line with requirements of EU law which guarantee the independence of the national telecoms regulator, more specifically its independence from the government,” an official said.

The executive stressed that the legislation giving the Minister for Infrastructures, Transport and Networks both control of an operator and regulatory tasks in the same sector, might be incompatible with EU law. 9full story Euractiv)

There are some things that the government does with respect to media that have people wondering.

Also recently, the government tried to put the online media landscape in order thus creating a registry where online media have to register if they wanted to have state advertisement.

For some unknown reasons, Minister Pappas gave a deadline for October 2016. After this deadline, no online media company can register as if the internet and digital media companies come to a halt with a ministerial decree…

*head shaking*

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2 comments

  1. International tender? You mean Troika buddies profit from the sale, not Greece.