TBILISI, DFWatch – A draft law to let small and independent TV stations get national distribution contains a loophole.
The text of the draft law became public Tuesday and shows that ‘technical’ problems will free cable companies from their obligations to carry all channels.
‘Technical problems’ is the reason one large cable company, Silknet, has for several years not been carrying government-critical Maestro TV.
The draft shows that that the law will free any cable company that lacks technical or other resources from having to carry all TV channels.
Georgia is holding parliamentary elections in October and presidential election in late 2013 or early 2014. TV is the main news source and currently, all three national TV channels are strongly pro-government.
The ruling National Movement party last week agreed with a demand from a pro-democracy campaign to enforce rules that secure government-critical TV channels a broader distribution, but only for a 60 day period.
Members of the This Affects You Too campaign want consultations with the governing party, out of fear that the new law will not work as intended or not be properly enforced.