Communications Commission issues TV Formula with a Fine of GEL 2500 for unlawfully broadcasting a Programme unsuitable for Minors
The Communications Commission has issued TV Formula with a fine of GEL 2500 for violating the Law on Broadcasting. More specifically, the broadcaster showed a programme unsuitable for minors during an inappropriate time slot, and without the appropriate age restriction label. Furthermore, TV Formula was ordered to comply with the Law on Broadcasting and the Code on the Rights of the Child, and avoid exposing minors to harmful content by ensuring that the television show “Chemi Tsolis Dakalebi” (My Wife’s Friends) is aired during a time slot and with an age restriction label that are in line with the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting.
The Communications Commission was contacted by citizen G.Kipiani regarding a possible violation committed by TV Formula. Monitoring activities carried out by the Audiovisual Media Services Regulatory Department of the Commission’s apparatus confirmed that the television show “Chemi Tsolis Dakalebi” was assigned to the ‘universal’ category by the broadcaster, even though it falls under the category of programmes that are unsuitable for minors under the age of 12. Programmes in this category must be aired after 21:00, but TV Formula aired the aforementioned show during daytime slots.
According to the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting, it is prohibited for broadcasters to air programmes that are unsuitable for youths under the age of 12 between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Recent changes in the Code on the Rights of the Child and the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting are designed to protect children from harmful broadcasted and online content. Parents are afforded flexible mechanisms for restricting their children’s access to virtual spaces that may harm them mentally.
During today’s public meeting, the representative of TV Formula appealed for the Commission to issue a warning instead of a financial penalty. In response to the broadcaster’s request, the Chairman of the Communications Commission made the following statement:
“It is never our wish to impose financial penalties. Although we did not directly participate in the process of devising this law, we raised our concerns regarding the issue of fines in writing. We suggested that the Law on Broadcasting should be amended to the effect that the first offence would be punishable by a warning. Unfortunately, our request was rejected, and as you know, the Law stipulates that we must issue a fine for the first offence. The only mitigating measure that can be applied by the Commission is to issue the smallest possible fine. As for your future conduct, the suggestions presented by the representative of the broadcaster are acceptable for us. You can either use a bleep censor, or cut out the section containing offensive language. You can also use a time slot after 21:00 and attach the appropriate age restriction label to ensure that you do not violate the Law,” stated the Chairman of the Communications Commission Kakha Bekauri.