Thursday, March 05, 2009

BBC transmitter deal annulled

Text of an unattributed report by Azerbaijani opposition newspaper Azadliq on 5 March headlined “Agreement between BBC and Azerbaijani government annulled”
In October 2008, the BBC World Service signed an agreement with the Azerbaijani government on installing three transmitters in Agsu, Lerik and Daskasan Districts with the aim of improving the quality of BBC radio broadcasts.
However, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Voice of America and the BBC have stopped broadcasts on FM frequencies in Azerbaijan following the 30 December 2008 decision by the National Television and Radio Council (NTRC). How did that affect the agreement?
Clarifying the issue, Togrul Mammadov, an aide to the NTRC chairman, said that the agreement signed with the BBC World Service had become invalid after the council’s aforementioned decision.
[In a separate report, Azadliq quoted Turan news agency as saying that posters with information on the frequencies on which the Voice of America is now broadcasting in Azerbaijan had been removed from the underground and other public transport in Baku. The paper said that they tried and failed to obtain comments on this from the Transport Ministry and the city's Public Transport Department.]
(Source: Azadliq, Baku in Azeri 5 Mar 09 via BBC Monitoring/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)