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23.07.2013 12:38

Commersant excluded from radio broadcasting license competition due to 8-second delay

Nata Dzvelishvili

22 July completed the registration for the competition for radio-broadcasting license in Tbilisi.  Winner of the competition will receive the right to broadcast at FM 93.5 frequency. 

Radio Commersant intended to take part in the competition although, according to the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), the radio was late with submitting the documents for 8 seconds, due to which the registration was denied.  Competition was announced 21 June and the deadline for submission of applications was 5 p.m. 22 July. 

“Time for submission of applications was one month.  After checking the video-cameras it was determined that Commersant entered the GNCC 8 second late.  Accordingly, the registration was denied,” GNCC Press-Secretary Khatia Kurashvili told Media.ge. 

According to Commerstand Director Goga Samushia, exclusion from competition was initiated by Radio Hereti founders. 

“When we entered Hereti organized some kind of protest action.  They told us it was the last second and we were late.  After that we disputed if the time on the clock that they used was correct.  Now I’m consulting lawyers if I can appeal against the given decision,” Goga Samushia stressed and stated that due to different technical reasons they have failed to submit the application during the one month allocated. 

Art Radio Director Irakli Datshidze also confirms that Commersant was excluded from competition by the initiative from Radio Hereti and not from the GNCC; he witnessed the process. 

Radio Hereti founder Ramaz Samkharadze says that documents had to be submitted before 5 p.m. and the given condition had to be the same for everyone. 

“When we and Radio Art submitted the documents they told us in the Chancellery that accepting of documents has finished and 5 companies have been registered to the competition.  Commersant representative came at that moment.  I protested and said that the rule had to be equal for all.  Finally the Legal Department checked and determined that Commersant was 8 second late,” Ramaz Samkharadze said. 

As result Commersant has been excluded from the competition. 

Total of 5 Companies will participate in the competition.  Media.ge proposes information about the Companies: 

Broadcasting Company Hereti LLC – Lagodekhi-based radio which has been appealing for the right to broadcast in Tbilisi for several years.  Hereti took part in 2011 competition also, although the competition was won by Media House Decom LLC, received FM 98.5 frequency and launched Radio Hot Chocolate. 

Radio Hereto sole owner is Ramaz Samkharadze who is currently TV-Company Ninth Channel Development Director too.  Director of Hereti is his brother Tamaz Samkharadze. 

Energy Group LLC – the Company was founded 7 March 2013 and was publishing English-language business magazine Commercial Times.  Its Director is the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Georgia Kakha Baindurashvili; he also owns 20% of the Company shares and remaining 80% are owned by the Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce Lasha Chkhenkeli.  They purchased Energy Group LLC 6 June from previous owners (Tamar Tirkia, Ani Tabatadze, Ketevan Tabatadze) for GEL 6,200. 

Baindurashvili and Chkhenkeli have already purchased TV-Company TV3 (former Real-TV) and stated that they plan to launch a business channel. 

Stereo+ LLC – David Zilfimian is the Director and owner of 68% of shares of the Company.  Zilfimian also owns 22% of TV-Company First Stereo.  He was restored to the position of First Stereo Director several days ago.  First Stereo started rebroadcasting Ninth Channel 20 July 2013.  

Stereo+ itself owns the license for usage of frequency spectrum and proposes signal distribution service to broadcasters.  Rest of the shares of Stereo+ are distributed as follows – Marco Kupolleti – 10%, Vakhtang Chkuaseli 11%, Zurab Chelidze – 11%, who also heads the Technical Department of the Georgian Public Broadcaster. 

Art Radio LLC – Company was registered 19 July 2013.  Its Director is Irakli Dateshidze who is also Executive Director of Radio Abkhazetis Khma.  Sole owner of the Company is his wife Marina Meparishvili

Art Palace LLC – Company Director is Jimsher Meparishvili; sole owner is Gia Andguladze who owns 14% of Lilo Mall LLC.  Art Palace is legally registered at Lilo Mall territory. 

Preparatory session for the competition for radio broadcasting license at which sealed documentation will publicly be opened is scheduled for 1 p.m. 25 July.  For 1 p.m. 22 August 2013 is scheduled verbal hearing session at which contestants will speak about their positions and the competition for the radio broadcasting license will be held 1 p.m. 26 August.  

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