Broadcaster PBK has its license revoked by regulator

The National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP) has decided to revoke the broadcasting license issued to the Russian-language “First Baltic Channel Latvia” (PBK), the NEPLP announced October 21.

"The decision was made because during the year, three significant violations of the Electronic Media Law were identified in the operation of the PBK schedues," the NEPLP said. 

In the first case, a penalty was imposed for a gross violation of the basic conditions of the issued broadcasting license by broadcasting programs created by other electronic media on First Baltic Channel Latvia. In the second case, a penalty was imposed for non-compliance with the obligation to provide at least 51% of weekly output from European sources. 

In the third case, a penalty was imposed because the broadcaster disseminated information that endangers public health or may pose serious risks. Namely, that Covid-19 infection is a low contagious disease and can be prevented by eating herring.

"NEPLP, evaluating the violations of regulatory enactments committed by PBK, concluded that each of the violations was significant," the watchdog said and that PBK's output was "incompatible with the task of electronic media to inform, educate and entertain audiences."

The broadcasting license for “First Baltic Channel Latvia” for 10 years was issued in February 2015 but will be revoked as of October 26, 2021. 

The three instances cited are not the first time PBK has fallen foul of the regulatory authorities.

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