Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

EURO'2004 PUT BNR AND DARIK AT ODDS

The Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) filed a complaint in the Council for Electronic Media protesting against three competitive media. It claims that its rights have been violated as Radio Sport, Gong Radio, and Darik Radio broadcasted the first match of Bulgaria's national team at the European football championship in Portugal with direct reporting from the stadium in Lisboa as well as with live interviews and comments from their studios. According to the national radio press service, that is a contradiction to the regulations of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on covering the championship. The managers of the national media complain that its competitors have not paid for direct reporting. They also add that the broadcasts damage their media's rights as it is the only Bulgarian radio permitted to directly cover Bulgaria's matches on the Pyrenees.According to Javier Tola, Manager of the News and Sport Radio Department of the European Broadcasting Union, no Bulgarian radio station except for BNR has booked seats for its commentators which makes direct reporting by all the other radio stations in the country illegal. Mr. Tola said that the two authorized journalists from Horizon radio are the only ones that have legitimate right to access the football matches and press conferences.BNR announced that a copy of the complaint had been sent to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) which had resent it to UEFA. In reply, Darik Radio managers made an announcement saying that EBU was a nongovernment organisation not related to the European Union and working in accordance with the Swiss legislation. Its 48 members are either state-owned or private media, including Bulgaria's national radio and TV. According to Darik Radio, the EBU jurisdiction is dubious with regards to Bulgaria. A legal case has been initiated in the European Court against EBU on behalf of the European Commission for Violating Competition Rules. The national radio has no legal interest in informing the Council for Electronic Media about Darik's invented violation, because it doesn't have the exclusive rights to report from Euro'2004, the declaration concludes. The private radio did not comment on Javier Tola's statement.It's almost certain that the conflict between the national radio and the private media will not remain within the framework of the first match. BNR and Darik Radio have been having an argument since the time the private radio stole a programme emblematic for the state-owned station.

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