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IRIS 2017-8:1/39

Ukraine

Regulator fines broadcasters

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Tobias Raab

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

The Ukrainian regulatory authority has fined a large number of licensed broadcasters for failing to meet their information obligations.

The regulator imposed fines of around UAH 350 000 (around EUR 11 647) on a total of 123 broadcasters for failing to disclose their ownership structure; it said that the broadcasters had failed to meet their obligations under the Ukrainian Television and Radio Act for the second year in a row.

The chairman of the regulatory body, Yuriy Artemenko, explained that further sanctions could be taken against broadcasters who continued to breach their duty to disclose their ownership structure. In accordance with the law, their broadcasting licences might not be renewed or might even be withdrawn completely. Ukraine is repeatedly subjected to the propaganda and destabilisation efforts of media that sympathise with or are influenced by Russia. In view of the current political situation, the authorities are therefore anxious to ensure that details of the ownership of and influences on broadcasters are disclosed. In April 2016, the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting banned three Russian channels - RTG TV (Russian Travel Guide), Retro and Kinoklub - on account of legal infringements.

In addition to other measures, the Ukrainian Television and Radio Act stipulates that the fines should be 5% of the sum paid by the broadcaster concerned for all the licences that it holds.