The Press Ministry launches the hunt on Russian television channels - 30 August, 2002

Everything is done legally and within the framework of the law in our country, The Office of the Prosecutor General institutes criminal proceedings against these or those administrators, but a company is becoming someone else’s property during the paperwork process. This is surely a “legitimate” thing to happen.

Press Minister Lesin started dealing with outlying television channels. The minister hit the company called Daryal-TV. The Press Ministry has recently claimed that it would not prolong the broadcasting licence for the company. Daryal-TV is an entertainment channel. It was founded by writer Arkady Vainer and his daughter Natalia Daryalova. The company has been operating since 1999. As it was explained in the ministry, the company repeatedly violated laws as well as requirements and terms of the licence.

The basic shareholder of Daryal-TV is the Swedish company Modern Times Group. The competition on the frequency of the channel will take place at the end of December. The candidacies will have to pay a million dollars for the participation.

Arkady Vainer said: “I think that it is an unfair decision, it reflects some intrigues around the frequency.” He also said that the administration of the television channel would address to the government and the State Duma in order to make them interfere in the issue. “I think that such a decision was organized by that part of the company, which wanted to get rid of us. We insist on the execution of the licence conception – morality and right – but they want to have a channel of low entertainment, to broadcast striptease programs, for example. We are absolutely against it,” – Veiner said.

One may say that Mr.Veiner will lose the fight for his channel. Everybody remembers what the state did to NTV and TV-6. Who is going to stand up for a channel of very limited audience? If the frequency goes to other people, who have more money, then there will be something to talk about. There is definitely something: the dispute in the car industry, the WTO membership, elections are coming too.

The Press Ministry decided to play high. Officials touched upon another channel – 7TV. The cliche is an old one: violations of law, the licence is not prolonged, the frequency is to be sold. As deputy press minister Mikhail Seslavinsky said, the Press Ministry would act the same way as it did with Daryal-TV. 7TV’s licence expired on August 21. The issue on its prolongation will be considered on September 26. The television channel started working in the beginning of the year 2001.

Yegor Belous

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Author`s name Olga Savka