The Government Secured Aid for Broadcasters for Handling the COVID-19 Crisis

Skopje, 01 June 2020

The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia adopted amendments to the Decree with Force of Law on Establishing Fund for Assistance and Support in Handling the COVID-19 Crisis.

This amendment covers all broadcasters in the country whose fees to digital terrestrial multiplex operator for broadcasting license would be covered for 2020. This decision is pursuant to the Law on Electronic Communications and aims to mitigate economic consequences of the coronavirus.

The decision was adopted following analysis of COVID-19 consequences over national, regional and local televisions who have faced and are still facing difficulties during operation. This crisis has had serious financial implications over their operation.

If we take into account that media are one of the key factors in a democratic society, the need is evident to provide assistance for overcoming these conditions, as was done in other affected sectors.

Hence, following analyses and discussions with all stakeholders on the most suitable method to provide assistance, it was found that covering their debts incurred due to utilization of digital terrestrial multiplex would mitigate consequences of the pandemic.   

The funds for covering the debt will be secured from the Fund for Aid and Support for Handling the COVID-19 Crisis.

 The debts would be paid based on report on incurred debts, delivered by the digital terrestrial multiplex operator, for covering costs of broadcasters to whom the regulatory authority responsible for broadcasting affairs awarded digital terrestrial multiplex broadcasting license for digitalization 2020. The report should be delivered to the General Secretariat of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia.

This would equally assist all national, regional and local broadcasters, particularly in the fiel of digitalization – an aspect that has proven immensely important and frequently necessary to ensure smooth operation in the new situation caused by the coronavirus.

The total amount anticipated for this purpose amounts to 31,732,390.00 MKD or 515,974.00 EUR.

Ministry of Information Society and Administration