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IRIS 2016-1:1/16

Greece

New law regulating licensing of content providers of digital terrestrial television

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Alexandros Economou

National Council for Radio and Television

A new law (the fourth since the launching of private television 25 years ago), regulating the licensing of content providers of digital terrestrial television, has been passed by the Greek Parliament on 24 October 2015.

According to this law, ten-year licences shall be granted through an auction procedure to be held by the independent regulatory authority Ethniko Symvoulio Radiotileorasis (ESR). Candidates should meet requirements such as a minimum share capital (which is EUR 8,000,000 for licensees having a licence of national range to broadcast informative/general content), a minimum number of employees (400 for those that broadcast in national range), and technological equipment.

Before the auction’s procedure, the competent Minister shall determine the different categories of licences to be awarded (national or regional range, informative or non-informative programmes, etc.), as well as the auction’s starting price, after consultation of the ESR. However this authority actually operates with four members (out of seven), since the term of office of three members ended in April 2015 after several extensions (IRIS 2013-5/31) and, due to a special provision of this law, the term of office has been ended for three other members too. The decision on the designation of six new members of ESR is to be taken in the future.

It should be noted that existing television stations still operate with “temporary” licences under legislative provisions that have been declared unconstitutional by the Plenary Session of the Supreme Administrative Court of Greece (IRIS 2011-1/34).

References
Νόμος 4339/2015 «Αδειοδότηση παρόχων περιεχομένου επίγειας ψηφιακής τηλεοπτικής ευρυεκπομπής ελεύθερης λήψης (…) και άλλες διατάξεις» EL
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=17824
 
  Act 4339/2015 “Licensing of content providers of free-to-air digital terrestrial television (…) and other provisions”