Gromadske TV channel, the signal of which was previously accessible just to Internet users and subscribers of some cable networks, started satellite broadcasting in a high-definition (HD) format from Azerbaijani spacecraft AzerSpace 1, located in the orbital slot 46°E.
Roman Skrypin, the chairman of Gromadske TV, said in his interview to Telekritika that satellite broadcasting was currently carried out in a test mode. According to him, the relay of a test signal had been broadcasted for about a month, but the channel wasn’t in a hurry to release that information. And just making sure that all the technical aspects of relaying signal to the satellite and the stability of its receiving were adjusted, we divulged it to the public.
We shall recall that some more Ukrainian public broadcasters use AzerSpace 1 satellite, i.e. Culture, UTR and Central channel (KDRTRK).
But along with such exciting news for the channel, there is a tough luck, i.e. the broadcaster’s lack of satellite licence provided by the National Council or any regulator in other countries to which the signal is relayed. Skrypin declared on this matter that for the test satellite broadcasting period it was not required.
Vladislav Sevryukov, Member of the National Council, said in yesterday’s briefing that he had never heard of Gromadske TV’s satellite broadcasting, and that broadcaster didn’t possess any license for it. Once such a licence obtained by the channel from any other country’s regulator, and its broadcasting carried out from there, so the Ukrainian permit is no longer required for it.
He also pointes out that satellite broadcasting in view of current prices of communications service providers and dollar’s rate, is a not cheap one.
Skrypin complains that the price of a satellite broadcasting license amounting UAH240 thousand is unreasonably high, and the noncommercial organizations, as they are, just have nowhere to take such money. Whereas, according the Methodology of Calculating License Fees, the fee for 24-hour satellite broadcasting is about UAH 122 thousand, and there exists a discount for the state-owned TV and Radio Companies, which reduces the license fee by 90%.
Previously, Gromadske TV put forward an idea of reducing the fee for issuing licenses for noncommercial organizations up to 99%. The project, worked out by the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine pursuant to such an initiative, was submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers. But the National Council didn’t get approval for it, so the document still remains under examination.
According to Roman Skrypin, Gromadske TV will submit documents to obtain a license just after having adopted discounts for noncommercial organizations’ licencing.