Armenia’s embattled A1+ TV company, which has been off the air for almost a decade, has been defeated in another frequency tender administered by the state regulator after allegedly submitting fraudulent documents.
The results of the process published by the National Commission on Television and Radio (HRAR) showed A1+ trailing the operating TV channel, ArmNews.
A1+, represented by Meltex Ltd., received only two points from the commission compared with 44 points for the company representing ArmNews, a TV station that currently alternates its news programs with half-hourly retransmissions from the pan-European news channel EuroNews.
The most trusted name in Armenian broadcast news at the time, “A1+” TV channel was shut down on April 2, 2002. The TV company was highly critical of than President Robert Kocharian and the move to shut it down was seen as an attempt to take it off the air ahead of Presidential elections scheduled in 2003.
Since closure, “A1+” television Company has participated in a dozen government-run tenders on broadcast licensing, and it has been refused a license on every occasion by the National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR), a state licensing authority fully controlled by president Robert Kocharian.
Media Experts in Armenia widely expected that the broadcast license would become another fiasco, but the publication of the results and the image of NCTR members holding ’0′ above their heads hurt badly. Not because it was unexpected, but because of the realization, that a miracle won’t happen and the media in this country will continue its shameful procession on the path of self-censorship and butt-kissing.