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15.09.2011

On the removal from air of A/TVC

   

The following statement has been issued by Yelena Baranina, General Director of A/TVC following the cessation of the television channel’s broadcasting.

Today (14 September) at 12.25 the TV company A/TVC went off air. The reason? I can only try to guess.

However let’s have it all in order. Two key figures are responsible for the so-called “picture” in the channel’s broadcasting: the Kharkiv Regional TV and Radio Broadcasting Centre [KhORTPC] and Ukrainian Digital Communications [UDC].  We work on a contractual arrangement.

A/TVC specialists were at the Broadcasting Centre today and met the Chief Engineer, A. Marshchyn.  I will leave out technical subtleties and note only that there everything is in order.

With UDC things proved much more complicated. Telephone negotiations began almost immediately after the signal disappeared. Not one person from this organization could give a clear answer as to what was going on, why and when broadcasting would resume. I contacted UDC Director, Maxim Tsian and it turned out that he needed two hours (1) to study the contract and he was overall surprised that he was being approached over such an issue.

In principle everything that happened was to be expected. The channel’s staff expected it, its owners, the participants of new projects, and probably Kharkiv journalists. There was no doubt that they would be cut off. There were only two questions – when and on what grounds. With regard to “when” everything is clear, as regards the grounds, a little background is needed.

From 28 July on Channel 7 (the owners are [Kharkiv’s Mayor] Kernes and his wife Dobkina] the broadcasting of Channel ATN was terminated (chance?)

For almost two weeks TV channel FOR A broadcast with a reduced option, and from 14 September broadcasting was ceased altogether (coincidence?)

From 12.25 on 14 September A/TVC went off air (it simply happened?)

Sorry, but we would be either excessively naïve or overly stupid if we gave an affirmative answer to those three questions.

And one more test for acumen: guess which of the Kharkiv channels won the tender for digital broadcasting. Quite right: it was Channel 7, that is Tonis, that is the media shares of Kernes-Dobkina.

I would like to nip any talk of our being to blame in the bud – all services according to current contracts are paid, we broadcast within the framework of a licence which is valid until 2015.

I consider today’s events unlawful and see them as pressure on the media. Statements regarding the unlawful cessation of our broadcasting will be sent to the National Broadcasting Council and the Kharkiv Prosecutor.

Yelena Baranina, General Director of A/TVC

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