REM publishes detailed explanation for TV license decision


The Serbian electronic media regulator (REM) published a lengthy document detailing the reasons behind its decision to extend the national frequency licenses for four pro-regime TV stations.

The 80+ page document said that TV Pink, Happy TV, Prva and TV B92 “will justify the multiple benefits for viewers in the entire country, primarily through an objective and timely approach to providing information through their own production of program content and diversity of offer”.

The REM Council (which decides on TV licenses) said in the document that it focused on the potential of the pro-regime Pink to produce its own movies, series and culture programs while Happy TV has “a diversity of information content”. Prva has the potential tp produce documentaries and TV B92 has the potential to produce sciene, education and children’s content.

The document says that the REM Council appreciates the guarantees that the stations provided as well as what they have done to date and their economic viability. It said that all 14 stations that applied for national frequencies meet the tender conditions.

The REM Council said that it considered all the facts that could affect the quality and diversity of content and concluded that TV Pink, Happy TV, Prva and TV B92 will meet the needs of the widest audience and will reinforce media pluralism. It said that the proposed program schemes would ensure the production of wholesome programming which would cover all genres. The REM Council relied on the information they got in meetings with the candidates and in assessing the needs of viewers based on daily communication with providers of media services.

“The members of the Council based their decision to issue the licenses based on their own professional convictions and their own knowledge and consciences bearing in mind the fact that, as license holders in the previous period, they proved that they approached the most important issues in society in a professional manner, respecting basic postulates of journalism and met the needs of the public through varied program content,” the document said.

The Council said it concluded that the license holders would improve their existing programming, deal with social issues, invest effort to protect media pluralism and be open for different opinions and ideas in order to stimulate a wide social dialogue and contribute to upgrading media standards as well as what they did to date, including the fact that they completed the transfer from analogue to digital broadcasting on time in 2015.