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Broadcasting Council promises to check why TVi is being cut off AFTER the elections

The Head of the Broadcasting Council claims that no checks are possible during the election period. Most observers both within Ukraine and abroad believe the present actions against TVi are aimed at silencing its critical voice as the elections approach

The demonstration in Kyiv in support for TVi on Saturday, 8 September

The Head of the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council Volodymyr Manzhosov promised on Thursday to check out providers who are arbitrarily cutting the independent TV channel TVi and other channels off after the election campaign. Mazhosov was speaking to the Conference on Television and Business taking place in Kyiv.

He said that according to a Verkhovna Rada resolution, the Broadcasting Council may not carry out checks during the election period.

He added that according to their information other channels have also been cut off.

The Broadcasting Council had previously promised to carry out monitoring of providers with respect to their removal of TVi.

As reported here, the Chief Editor of TVi has accused the Broadcasting Council of being behind the actions of a large number of providers who have suddenly either removed TVi (a propular channel) from their packages, or put them into a signficanltly more expensive band.

Examples of TV fare on other channels can be found here.  While there is indeed a moratorium on checks of media sources before the elections, this is aimed at preventing such media being placed under pressure.  There have been a very large number of protests from both within Ukraine and abroad to the measures against TVi which is virtually the last independent channel providing an opportunity to hear members of the opposition, criticism of those presently in power, etc.  The actions by providers throughout the country have deprived a very large number of viewers of such an opportunity. 

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