Discussion of Azerbaijan's foreign radio ban continues (updated).

Posted: 21 Nov 2008   Print   Send a link
"Chairman of National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Azerbaijan (NTRBC) called on international organizations and ambassadors to respect Azerbaijan’s laws. 'If international organizations achieve broadcast of foreign radio stations in Azerbaijan, I will be sorry about it,' NTRBC chairman Nushiravan Maharramli told Trend News. ... At present, US Voice of America, Radio Liberty and BBC radio stations and Turkish TRT TV channel broadcast in Azerbaijan. The contract signed with the above-mentioned radios and TV expires at the end of the year. Frequencies of all foreign radios broadcasting in Azerbaijan are expected to be withdrawn by the end of the year. ... The broadcast of foreign radio stations and TV channels should meet requirements of world experience. 'Azerbaijan should act in accordance with the US and European experience. Can the countries making these statements permit TV channels of other countries to broadcast on their frequencies,' Maharramli said." Trend News Agency, 18 November 2008. See previous post about same subject.
     I can't think of any international broadcasters that have full-time access to U.S. terrestrial analog radio or channels. BBC World Service is full time on some public radio stations' secondary HD digital channels. MHZ Networks in the Washington, D.C., area has foreign channels on its secondary digital channels.
     In Washington, Radio France International (in French) in China Radio International (in English) purchase weekday time on WUST, 1120 kHz AM. There are similar time purchases in some other U.S. cities.
     In the United States, only U.S. citizens can hold broadcast licenses. But there are no laws against content from international broadcasting entities on U.S. stations, part time or full time. The actual restraint is market forces. Time on terrestrial television and FM stations is expensive, and many stations would be unwilling to sell it to foreign broadcasters at any price because it would disrupt the U.S. stations' formats.

     "'The U.S. does not support the decision of Azerbaijan on possible close of broadcasting of foreign radio stations in the territory of Azerbaijan. We respect the laws in Azerbaijan, however, we believe that the problem can be removed more easily than closing,' David Kramer, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said." Trend News Agency, 19 November 2008, includes video. -- Update: See also VOA News, 20 November 2008.
     "Fakhraddin Gasimov, 34, said he was very worried by the announcement. He said that television news is not worth watching, and he relies on Radio Liberty to get up-to date reliable information. 'On Radio Liberty, as opposed to other stations, you can find out the position both of the authorities and of the opposition,' said Gasimov. 'I love listening to their discussions on political topics. If these radio stations shut down, we won’t know what’s really happening in the country.'" Sevinj Telmangyzy, Institute for War & Peace Reporting, 20 November 2008.
     "At the same time the chairman of the National Council noted that this ban is not related to separate programs, which local TV channels may take from foreign colleagues. 'Let's assume that someone buys a license for any program, demonstrated in foreign TV channels. He may use it both as his own production, without pointing at the logotype of a foreign TV channel', said Meherremli." Today.Az, 21 November 2008.