Chisinau and bucharest sign agreement on transmitting TVR1 in Moldova

Claudiu Saftoiu, Director General of the Romanian SRTV television company, and Lilian Apostol, Republic of Moldova’s Permanent Representative at the European Court of Human Rights, signed in Bucharest on Thursday an agreement on amicable resolving the dispute around the transmission of the Romanian national TVR1 channel in Moldova.       

During the signature ceremony, which was telecast live, Claudiu Saftoiu said that the parties have thus eliminated the biggest obstacle to the presence of TVR1 programs in Moldova.   

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said that citizens in the two countries have the right to know what happens on both sides of the Prut River.    

Moldovan Minister of Justice Oleg Efrim assessed the document signing as an act of correction of the mistake made by the previous Communist government in Moldova.   

“I think it is not normal for our countries to have problems in bilateral relations. What we have done today is showing that we are able to overcome any obstacles”, stated Oleg Efrim.    

The Moldovan authorities would not disclose the terms of this agreement, so the local public can only wonder, for instance, how the transmission of TVR1 programs will be possible here in conditions when the company has been deprived of its broadcast license here. The Romanian press is writing in this connection that according to the draft Agreement, Moldovan cable TV operators shall be demanded to transmit TVR1 in this republic and Romania shall be transmitting the Moldova-1 public television in the neighbor country. All this is well in harmony with the Romanian legislation. In Moldova, however, the Audiovisual Coordinating Council has no right to compel local private TV operators to include foreign channels into their packages.   
The Agreement stipulates also that the sides shall ensure the freedom of receiving and retransmitting in each other’s national territory the programs of the other country’s national television no matter retransmitting method and without any conditions, licenses or preliminary permission.

The Agreement has been signed for 10 years and may be further prolonged for another 10 years if neither side objects to this.    

As already reported by Infotag, TVR1 broadcasting in Moldova was ceased in 2007 by an ACC decision because the Romanian company had accumulated a debt exceeding US$150 thousand to the Radiocomunicatii state enterprise of Moldova. Then, the ACC issued a broadcast license to a television channel called 2PLUS belonging to TELEFE International company. The channel undertook to repay the TVR1 debt and to be remit 70% of TVR1 programs in Moldova.

However, TVR1 refused to recognize its owing anything to Moldova, and challenged the decision with the European Court of Human Rights. Presently, the frequencies of the Moldovan second national network belonging to the state have been given to 2 PLUS, so the Moldovan state has no spare frequencies for TVR1 to offer.  

Adapted from infotag