ArmInfo. Rostelecom stands out with clarifications on statement by Panarmenian Media Group related to disconnection of its own three channels - Armenia TV, ArmNews and ATV- of the Armenian network of Rostelecom.
The Rostelecom statement particularly notes that the broadcasting of its channels through the Armenian network of Rostelecom is being implemented by the partner Company of "Hybryd Solution". "Armenian channels have been active and keep on remaining in all the Armenian free contents of Rostelecom. Moreover, five of those channels - Public TV, Armenia, Kentron, Armenian Second and Mir - are included in a charge-free "Social" content, which is always available for subscribers, even in the case when they are disconnected due to payment failures", the statement reads. Meanwhile, the statement claims that the Panarmenian Media Group cancelled the broadcasting of its three channels through Rostelecom, without sharing any reasons for that.
"The GNC-Alpha (the trademark of Rostelecom) pays importance to any of business flows and is always open for negotiations with partners within the Armenian regulatory framework - especially when those are tied to the interests and wishes of the subscribers. In this respect the Rostelecom, proceeding from interests of own subscribers, expects the fastest settlement of the situation and is ready to do its best in respect to this issue solution", the statement reads.
To note, starting with November 1, the Panarmenian Media Group CJSC abruptly announced the cancellation of its three channels broadcasting through the network of Rostelecom. And only after a while the Panarmenian Media Group made a statement trying to clarify such a decision. Particularly, the statement claims that the company's product has been used for free by many of providers, which used to sell the same product to their subscribers. "Up until recently, the Panarmenian Media Group, being guided by the interests of Armenian subscribers, kept staying tolerant to that, because the product was available for a larger number of subscribers through the cable TV networks. But along with the initiation of digital broadcasting all the Armenian channels became available for subscribers in a good quality regardless providers' intervention. Due to this circumstance, a decision was taken to cancel the broadcasting of the Panarmenian Group channels through the providers' network", the statement claims. The Panarmenian Media Group also accentuates the need to discuss the situation with providers.
At that, according to information of ArmInfo, the current situation could be caused by some other reasons, not directly related to the transition to digital broadcasting. By all appearances, the reason is the certain changes of Armenian broadcasting market. The heart of the matter is that, according to the information of the agency (not yet officially stated but actual), a change of ultimate beneficiaries of UCOM - one of the largest providers in Armenia- took place after resignation of Gagik Khachatryan, former Minister of Finance and the owner of UCOM. As ArmInfo was told, the new owners of UCOM do have an affiliated relation to the owners of Panarmenian Media Group, and this situation is to be solved exactly through the angle of these market changes. Especially, considering that the media group has not disconnected its channels of UCOM.