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Rustavi 2 and Mze demand reduction in free airtime for political commercials

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Wednesday, February 20
The management of private television stations Rustavi 2 and Mze have addressed Parliamentary Speaker Nino Burjanadze, requesting the mandatory free airtime given to political advertisements in the run-up to elections be reduced, the news agency Regnum reports.

The television companies want the 90 seconds of airtime per three hours of broadcasting given to political campaigns free of charge under broadcasting law reduced to 30 seconds.

Rustavi 2 presented figures which it says prove a massive amount of lost revenue due to the law. The station claims it gave 11.6 hours of airtime to political campaigns, amounting to a loss of USD 2.9 million, in the run-up to the January 5 presidential election.