OTV Licence Curtailed

By FNE Staff

    BUCHAREST: The Audiovisual Council of Romania (www.cna.ro) decided that the licence of the Romanian OTV channel (www.otv.com.ro) should expire on September 2012, six months before the regular deadline.

    This unprecedented decision was due to political advertisments aired by the channel for one party.

    The licence should have expired on 1 April 2013, but CNA concluded that OTV is functioning merely as an advertising platform for the People's Party (www.partidul-poporului.ro). Dan Diaconescu, the head of OTV, says he is not a member of PP-DD and he has no connection on paper with PP-DD. However, he is the candidate from the People's Party for the presidential elections in 2014.

    The Audiovisual Law states that a channel's licence can be reduced by half if the channel was already fined twice. Two weeks before this decision, CNA fined OTV for interrupting the broadcast schedule for three hours with a political advertisement for PP-DD.

    OTV received a licence for a term of nine years in 2004. In order to extend it, OTV will have to reapply to the CNA.