LAW

on Radio and Television

Chapter One

GENERAL PROVISIONS

S.I. (1) This law governs the radio- and television activities in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

(2) Radio and television activities consist in the production of radio and television programmes and additional information for broadcasting by means of terrestrial radio broadcasting, by cable, by satellite or by another technical means, in a non-encoded or encoded form, which are intended for immediate reception by an indefinite audience.

 

S. 2. The provisions of this law shall not apply to:

1. radio and television programmes produced only for the purpose of broadcasting in one building;

2. radio and television programmes produced for the purpose of broadcasting for the needs of State authorities or legal persons, where the content of the programme relates to their activities only and the transmission equipment is owned by them.

 

S. 3. (1) Radio and television activities shall be carried on by radio and television broadcasters.

(2) Radio and television broadcasters shall be natural and legal persons holding licenses for radio and television activities.

(3) Radio and television broadcasters may also be telecommunications operators within the meaning of the Law on Telecommunications. In this case they shall not have the right to grant licenses for telecommunication services to third parties, unless otherwise provided in their licenses for telecommunications operations.

(4) The provisions of this law shall apply to all radio and television programmes produced with the intention to be broadcast or broadcast by corresponding operators under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Bulgaria.

 

S. 4. Radio and television broadcasters shall be public and commercial.

 

S. 5. Commercial radio and television broadcasters shall be commercial companies holding licenses for radio and television activities and working mainly with the object to distribute profits among their owners.

 

S.6. (1) Public radio and television broadcasters shall be natural and legal persons holding licenses for radio and television activities whose main object is to contribute to the realisation of the right of information proclaimed by the Constitution.

(2) Public radio and television broadcasters shall be subject to either public or private law.

(3) Public radio and television broadcasters shall:

1. provide for broadcasting political, economic, cultural, scientific. educational and any other information relevant for the society;

2. ensure access to the national and world cultural values and popularise the scientific and technical achievements through the broadcasting of Bulgarian and foreign educational and cultural programmes for people of all ages;

3. ensure, through their broadcasting policy, the protection of the national interests, the universal cultural values, of national science, of education and of the culture of all Bulgarian nationals regardless of their ethnic origin;

4. promote the creation of works by Bulgarian authors;

5. promote the Bulgarian art of performance.

 

S. 7. The Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) and the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) shall be a national public radio broadcaster and a national public television broadcaster, respectively, which shall:

1. ensure programmes for all nationals of the Republic of Bulgaria;

2. assist the development and popularisation of Bulgarian culture and of the Bulgarian language, as well as of the culture and language of the citizens in accordance with their ethnic origin;

3. ensure through their programmes access to the national and European cultural heritage;

4. include in their programmes broadcasts which inform, educate or entertain;

5. apply the new information technologies;

6. reflect the different ideas and convictions in the society;

7. contribute to mutual understanding and tolerance in the relations among people;

8. provide citizens with an opportunity to get acquainted with the official position of the State on important issues relating to social life.

 

S.8. (1) This law guarantees the independence of radio and television broadcasters and of their activities of any political and economic intervention.

(2) The National Radio and Television Council, in its capacity as a specialised independent body, shall exercise supervision only in the cases laid down in this law.

 

S. 9. (1) The production of radio and television programmes in the Republic of Bulgaria shall be free.

(2) Censorship of the programmes in any form whatsoever shall not be allowed.

(3) A freedom of reception shall be ensured and the retransmission of radio and television programmes shall not be restricted in the territory of the country in accordance with the conditions of this law.

(4) The provision of subsection 3 shall not apply temporarily in case of a grave breach of this law.

 

S. 10. While carrying on their activities, radio and television broadcasters shall be

guided by the following principles:

1. guaranteeing the right to freedom of expression;

2. guaranteeing the right to information;

3. preservation of the secret of the source of information;

4. protection of citizens' personal inviolability;

5. non-admission of broadcasts inciting to intolerance among citizens;

6. non-admission of broadcasts praising or excusing cruelty or violence;

7. guaranteeing the right of reply;

8. guaranteeing copyright and related rights in the broadcasts and

programmes;

9. preservation of the purity of the Bulgarian language;

(2) At least 50 per cent of the total annual transmission time, excluding news and sports broadcasts, radio and television games, advertising, radio and teleshopping, must be intended for European and Bulgarian audio- and audio-visual production, respectively, where this is possible in practice.

(3) The duration of all broadcasts produced by external producers may not be less than 10 per cent of the total annual transmission time. Shall be excluded therefrom the time of news and sports broadcasts, radio and television games, advertising and radio and teleshopping. To those broadcasts the provision of subsection 2 shall apply.

 

S. 11. (1) Any opinion may be expressed freely in radio and television broadcasts.

(2) Journalists and creators who have entered into contracts with radio and television broadcasters may not receive instructions and directives as to the exercising of their activities from persons and/or groups outside the governing bodies of the radio and television broadcasters.

(3) Public criticism on the broadcasting policy of radio and television broadcasters on the part of those working therewith shall not constitute disloyalty towards the employer.

(4) Journalists who have entered into contracts with radio and television broadcasters shall have the right to refuse to perform a task assigned where the latter is

not connected with implementing the provisions of this law or of the respective contracts and where it is contrary to their personal convictions; it shall not be possible to refuse technical and editorial processing of programme material and news.

(5) Editorial statutes for work in the field of political journalism may be agreed on between the owners and/or governing bodies of the radio and television broadcasters and the journalists who have entered into contracts therewith.

(6) An editorial statute must contain specific definitions and measures for:

1. ensuring the freedom and personal liability of journalistic work in the

course of performing a task assigned;

2. protection of journalists within the meaning of subsection 2

3. professional and ethical norms for the journalistic work at the

corresponding radio and television broadcasters;

4. the ways of making decisions relating to, the journalistic work;

5. setting up of an internal body for settling the disputes which have arisen in

the course of journalistic work relating to the production of programmes.

 

S. 12. (1) The programmes of the radio and television broadcasters shall be broadcast in the official language, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria.

(2) The programmes of radio and television broadcasters may be transmitted in another language where:

1. they are transmitted for educational purposes;

2. they are intended for Bulgarian nationals whose mother language is not Bulgarian;

3. they are intended for listeners and viewers from abroad;

4. foreign radio and television programmes are transmitted by cable or by satellite;

5. programmes are re-transmitted of foreign radio and television broadcasters registered in the Republic of Bulgaria;

6. foreign audio-visual programmes are broadcast.

 

S. 13. (1) Radio and television broadcasters shall have the right to receive the information they need from the State and municipal authorities, provided that it does not contain any secret prescribed by a law.

(2) Radio and television broadcasters must use in an accurate and unbiased manner the information received.

(3) Radio and television broadcasters shall provide information about their activities in the cases laid down by law.

(4) A radio or television broadcaster holding an exclusive right over a major event must ensure, the access of other radio and television broadcasters in view of its information coverage.

 

S. 14. (1) Radio and television broadcasters must record the programmes and broadcasts they provide for broadcasting and keep the recordings for 3 months as from the date of the broadcast.

(2) in case that, within the term under subsection 1, a request is made for reply

or an action is brought against the radio or television broadcaster in relation to the content of a broadcast or programme, the recordings shall be kept until the closure of the case

(3) A person alleging that he or she has been affected in a broadcast, shall be entitled to access to the respective archive and to a copy of the recording which shall be made at his or her own expense.

(4) Official authorised to exercise control for compliance with the provisions ot this law shall be entitled to have access to materials in relation to the check conducted by them.

 

S. 15. (1) Radio and television operators shall not be obliged to disclose the source of information to the National Radio and Television Council, unless there are pending court proceedings or a pending proceeding instituted on an appeal from an affected person.

(2) Journalists shall not be obliged to disclose the sources of information not only to the audience but also to the management of an operator, except for the cases under subsection 1.

(3) Radio and television broadcasters shall have the right to include in broadcasts information from a unknown source, while expressly indicating that.

(3) Journalists must keep in secret the source of information where this has been expressly requested by the person who provided the information.

 

S. 16. (1) Radio and television broadcasters may not produce and provide for transmission broadcasts which contain information relating to citizens' private life without their consent.

(2) Radio and television broadcasters may insert in their broadcasts information in the public interest concerning the private life of citizens exercising the powers of State authorities or of citizens whose decisions affect the society.

(3) In cases of offences under subsections 1 and 2 above the radio and television broadcasters shall owe a public apology to the person concerned. This shall r deprive that person of the right to seek redress before a court.

(4) The restrictions under subsections 1 and 2 shall not apply where there is a verdict that has come into effect in respect of the person for an intentional crime prosecuted on indictment.

 

S. 17. (1) Radio and television broadcasters shall be liable for the content of the programmes they provide for broadcasting.

(2) Radio and television broadcasters must not allow the production or provision for transmission of broadcasts in contravention of the principles laid down in s. 10 and of broadcasts inciting to national, political, ethnic, religious and racial intolerance, praising or excusing, cruelty or violence, or aimed at prejudicing the. physical, mental and moral development of children and minors.

(3) The provisions of subsection 2 relating to children and minors shell not apply to broadcasts in an encoded form and/or broadcasts transmitted between 23.00 and 6.00 h. and which are clearly indicated by a preceding acoustic and acoustic and optical signal throughout their duration.

(4) Radio and television broadcasters shall not be liable for data announced

and for their content where those:

1. have been received in accordance with an official procedure;

2. constitute quotations from official documents;

3. accurately reproduce public statements;

4. are based on materials obtained from news agencies or from other radio

and television broadcasters.

(5) In case of quoting of documents no modification shall be allowed.

(6) News as facts of information must be distinguished from the commentaries

thereto.

(7) Where a broadcast of another radio or television operator has been used as

part of the programme, this must be indicated.

 

S. 18. (1) Persons, State and municipal authorities affected in a radio or television broadcast shall enjoy the right of reply.

(2) Within 7 days as from the day of the broadcast the persons and the authorities under subsection I shall have the right to request in writing from the corresponding radio and television broadcaster that their reply be provided for broadcasting. The request must contain the challenged statements, as well as the date and time of the broadcast.

(3) The radio or television broadcaster shall ensure that the reply be included in the next emission of the same broadcast or at an equivalent time during a period of 24 hours after the reply is received, while not allowing any modification or reduction of the text.

(4) The provision of a reply for broadcasting shall be free of charge for the persons and authorities under subsection 1.

(5) The duration of a reply may not exceed the duration of the challenged part of the broadcast.

 

S. 19. Radio and television broadcasters shall only broadcast programmes tor which copyright and related rights have been arranged for in advance.

 

ChapterTwo

National Radio and Television Council

Division I

General Conditions

S.20. (1) The National Radio and Television Council (NRTC) shall be an independent specialised collegiate body which shall protect the freedom of speech and the independence of radio and television broadcasters, as well as the interests of viewers and listeners.

(2) In its activities, the National Radio and Television Council shall take into account the interests of society.

 

S. 21. The National Radio and Television Council shall be a legal person having its seat in Sofia and an independent budget.

 

S. 22. The National Radio and Television Council shall be assisted in its activities by administrative and technical services, the structure and staff of which it shall determine autonomously depending on the funding envisaged for the corresponding year.

 

S. 23. The National Radio and Television Council shall adopt Rules for its organisation and activities.

 

 

Division II

Composition of National Radio and Television Council

S. 24. (1) The National Radio and Television Council shall be composed of 9 members, of which 5 shall be elected by the National Assembly and 4 shall be appointed by the President of the Republic.

(2) The decision of the National Assembly and the decree of the President under subsection 1 shall come into effect simultaneously.

 

S. 25. May be a member of the National Radio and Television Council a person having Bulgarian nationality who resides in the territory of the country, has a degree of higher education and professional experience in the field of radio and television activities, culture, journalism, the audio-visual, telecommunications, law or economy.

 

S. 26. May not be members of the National Radio and Television Council persons who:

1. have been sentenced to imprisonment for intentional crimes prosecuted on indictment;

2. are sole traders, owners of the capital of commercial companies, partners, managers, representatives or members of governing and supervisory bodies of commercial companies and co-operatives,

3. have worked as employed or supernumerary collaborators to the former State Security.

 

S.27. (1) During their term of office the members of the National Radio and Television Council may not:

1. engage in any other gainful employment, except as professors having academic ranks or researchers placed on an equal footing at higher schools or scientific organisations,

2. take up elective positions at State and municipal authorities, in the governing bodies of political parties and coalitions, and in trade unions;

3. be members of governing, controlling or supervisory bodies of commercial companies and co-operatives;

4. acquire stakes or shares in radio or television broadcasters and advertising agencies;

5. be members of governing, controlling or supervisory bodies of non-profit organisations which have been granted a license for a radio or television broadcaster;

6. receive, in any form whatsoever, remuneration from a radio or television broadcaster, except in accordance with the legislation on intellectual property.

(2) The employers having a relation of employment with a person who becomes member of the National Radio and Television Council shall grant that person an unpaid leave for the duration of his or her term of office. After the expiration or termination of the term of office they shall reinstate the person in his or her former position, if he or she so desires.

 

S. 28. Before they take office, the members of the National Radio and Television Council shall sign a declaration whereby they shall confirm that they satisfy the requirements under this law. The declarations shall be kept at the archive of the National Radio and Television Council.

 

S. 29. (1) The members of the National Radio and Television Council shall be elected or appointed for a term of 6 years. The composition of the National Council for Radio and Television from each quota shall be renewed every 2 years.

(2) A person may not be member of the National Radio and Television Council for more than two consecutive terms of office.

 

S.30. (1) The term of office of a member of the National Radio and Television Council shall be terminated earlier in case of removing the person from office or death.

(2) The removal of a member of the National Radio and Television Council shall be effected by a decision of the National Radio and Television Council:

1. in case of a written application filed with the chairman of the National Radio and Television Council,

2. in case of a lasting factual inability of the person to perform his or her duties for more than six months;

3. where incompatibility with the requirements of this law is established.

(3) In case of an earlier termination of the term of office of a member of the National Radio and Television Council, within 1 month as from the date of death or of the decision under subsection 2 the competent body shall elect or appoint a new member in his or her place for the remainder of the respective term of office.

(4) In case of appeal against a decision for an earlier removal, the member removed shall perform his or her duties until the judgement of the court comes into effect.

 

S.31. (1) At their first meeting the members of the National Radio and Television Council shall elect from among themselves a chairman and a secretary until the end of the respective term of office.

(2) The chairman shall:

1. represent the National Radio and Television Council;

2. convene the meetings of the National Radio and Television Council and chair them;

3. sign the acts of the National Radio and Television Council adopted in implementation of this law;

4. maintain the links of the National Radio and Television Council with the State authorities and the radio and television broadcasters, as well as with the international organisations in the field of radio and television activities

(3) The secretary shall:

1. manage the work of the administrative and technical services;

2. prepare the meetings of the National Radio and Television Council;

3. control the implementation of the acts adopted.

(4) The chairman and the secretary may be removed from their positions by their own will, on the basis of a written application.

(5) On a proposal from any of its members the National Radio and Television Council may make a decision for an earlier termination of the term of office of the chairman and of the secretary of the National Radio and Television Council in that capacity due to failure to perform their duties.

(6) The decisions under subsections 4 and 5 shall set the date for the next meeting at which a new election shall take place.

 

Division III

Powers of National Radio and Television Council

S. 32. (1) The National Radio and Television Council shall:

1. supervise the activities of radio and television broadcasters in view of the observance of this law;

2. elect and remove the managing directors of BNR and BNT;

3. approve, on a proposal from the managing directors, the members of the managing boards of BNR and BNT;

4. give opinions during the drafting of legislative instruments and in case of concluding international agreements relating to radio and television;

5. give an opinion on the draft subsidy from the State budget for BNR and BNT;

6. approve annually the extra-budgetary plan-account of the Radio and Television Fund;

7. organise the polling of public opinion on the activities of radio and television broadcasters and on their programmes;

8. give an opinion on the modifications of the amount of fees due for the use of radio and television services;

9. make decisions concerning the grant, modification and termination of a license for radio and television activities. Propose to the State Telecommunications Commission a model license for radio and television activities;

10. refer to the competent authorities the violations of legislative instruments in the course of carrying on radio and television activities;

11. determine the composition of the Managing Board of the Radio and Television Fund, adopt rules on the organisation and activities of the Fund and of the managing board, and appoint the Fund's executive director; 12. make other decisions while exercising its powers under this law.

(2) While exercising its powers, the National Radio and Television Council shall adopt rules, decisions and declarations and shall give opinions in the cases laid down in the law.

 

S. 33. The National Radio and Television Council shall supervise the activities of the radio and television broadcasters only in respect of:

1. compliance with the principles under S.10;

2. compliance with the requirements of s. 6, subsection 3 and s, 7;

3. the coverage of elections for State authorities and the authorities of local self-government,

4. compliance with the requirements relating to advertising in the broadcasts of radio and television broadcasters;

5 compliance with the norms relating to charitable activities and sponsorship,

6 the preservation of secrets in the radio and television activities, as laid down in the law;

7. compliance with the requirements for specialised broadcasts aimed at children and adolescents;

8. information on the decisions of courts and other State authorities in the cases laid down in the law;

9. the protection of consumer rights;

10. the technical quality of broadcasts and programmes;

11. compliance with the restrictions laid down in the law.

 

Division IV

Meetings

S.34. (1) The meetings of the National Radio and Television Council shall be convened by the chairman:

1. on his own initiative, or

2. at the request of at least one third of its members.

(2) The invitation for the meeting shall contain the tatter's draft agenda.

 

S. 35. The National Radio and Television Council shall hold meetings which shall be regular if attended by such number of members that is necessary for making a decision in accordance with the agenda.

 

S. 36. While making their decisions, members of the National Radio and Television Council shall be guided by the principles of:

1. collegiate action;

2. publicity and transparency;

3. independence in the discussions and the decision-making;

4. co-operation with the State authorities, the radio and television broadcasters and the non-governmental organisations carrying on activities in the field of radio and television or the protection of copyright and related rights;

5. protection of the interests of viewers and listeners.

 

S. 37. (1) The National Radio and Television Council shall make decisions by a simple majority of all members.

(2) The decisions under s. 31, subsections 1 and 5, and s. 32, subsection 1, item 3 shall be made by a majority of two thirds of all members.

(3) Where a decision under subsection 2 is not made within one month, it shall be made by a simple majority.

 

S. 38. The decisions of the National Radio and Television Council under s. 30, subsection 2, items 2 and 3, s. 31, subsection 5, and s. 32, subsection 1, items 2 and 3, and 61, subsection 1, as well as its decisions for the grant, modification and termination of licenses shall be subject to appeal before the Supreme Administrative Court.

 

S.39. (1) The National Radio and Television Council shall publish an Information Newsletter where the decisions made shall be published.

(2) Not later than 31 March every year the National Radio and Television Council shall publish a report of its activities during the previous year.

 

Division V

Financing and Remuneration

S. 40. The National Radio and Television Council shall be financed through the Radio and Television Fund.

 

S. 41. (1) Throughout the time during which they perform their functions, the members of the National Radio and Television Council shall receive a monthly remuneration amounting to three average monthly salaries of employees in the national economy, according to the data of the National Statistical Institute.

(2) The remuneration of the chairman shall be 30 per cent higher, and 'that of the secretary - 20 per cent higher than the remuneration under subsection 1.

(3) The basic monthly remuneration shall be recalculated quarterly on the basis of the average monthly salary for the last month of the previous quarter.

 

 

Chapter Three

BULGARIAN NATIONAL RADIO AND BULGARIAN NATIONAL TELEVISION

Division I

General Provisions

S.42. (1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall be legal persons having their seats in Sofia.

(2) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television carry on the operative management of the State owned property which has been granted to them before the entry into force of this law.

 

S. 43. The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall produce and provide for broadcasting radio and television programmes and additional information, including teletext.

 

S. 44. (1) The transmission of the radio and television programmes of BNR and BNT shall be effected through their own telecommunications means or on the basis of a contract with a licensed telecommunications operator.

(2) The State shall implement in the field of telecommunications a licensing policy which shall guarantee the broadcasting of the programmes of BNR and BNT throughout the territory of the country.

 

S.45. (1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall implement and offer new radio and television services.

(2) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall create conditions for the dissemination and implementation of digital and other new technologies in the radio and television activities.

 

S. 46. (1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall have the right to enter into contracts for the purchase of ready audio- and audio-visual works.

(2) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television may enter into contracts with other radio and television broadcasters for the supply, retransmission or exchange of programmes.

 

S. 47. (1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall have the right to produce themselves programmes and broadcasts or to assign their production to external producers, as well as to take part in co-productions.

(2) Only the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television may be the producers of news and topical publicistic broadcasts on political and economic issues which are transmitted in the programmes of BNR and BNT.

(3) The production of audio- and audio-visual works by external producers shall be carried out by means of a contest and making a contract with the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television.

(4) The principles governing the relations and the procedure relating to co-productions, to the conduct of contests and to the making of contracts with external producers shall be laid down in rules adopted by the managing board.

 

S. 48. The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall have the right to include free of charge in their news reports from and information about events the exclusive right for the coverage of which is held by another radio or television broadcaster, in conformity with the Law on Copyright and Related Rights, while mandatorily indicating the source of information.

 

Division II

Programmes of BNR and BNT

S. 49. (1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall produce national and regional programmes; programmes intended for abroad, including for Bulgarians abroad; programmes intended for Bulgarian nationals whose mother language is not Bulgarian, including in their own language.

(2) The regional programmes shall cover events of local importance. They shall be produced by local radio and television centres and shall be intended for the population in the corresponding regions.

(3) The territory of the regions, the regional programme schemes and the participation of the radio and television centres with their own broadcasts in the production of national radio and television programmes shall be approved by the managing boards of BNR and BNT.

 

S. 50. The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall develop their broadcasting policy in accordance with the requirements laid down for national public broadcasters in the field of radio and television activities.

 

S. 51. The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television must provide upon request, forthwith and free of charge, transmission time for official announcements by representatives of State authorities in case of a disaster or imminent threat to the security and the health of the population or of individual persons.

 

S. 52. (1) Shall have the right to address the audience on BNR and BNT the President of the Republic, the Chairman of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister, the Prosecutor General and the presidents of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal.

(2) By a decision of the National Assembly BNT and BNR shall forthwith provide transmission time for direct broadcasting of the plenary sittings.

(3) The provision of transmission time under subsections 1 and 2 shall be free of charge.

 

S.53. (1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television may provide transmission time for addressing the believers and for broadcasting important religious ceremonies at the request of:

1. the Bulgarian Orthodox Church,

2. other officially registered denominations.

(2) The conditions and procedure for providing transmission time under subsection 1 shall be laid down in the Rules for the organisation and activities of BNR and BNT.

 

S. 54. The conditions and procedure for providing transmission time on BNR and BNT in case of participation in pre-election campaigns shall be laid down in a law.

 

Division III

Management of BNR and BNT

S. 55. (1) The governing bodies of the Bulgarian National Radio shall be:

1. the managing board of BNR,

2. the managing director of BNR.

(2) The governing bodies of the Bulgarian National Television shall be:

1. the managing board of BNT;

2. the managing director of BNT;

 

S. 56. The managing directors of BNR and BNT and the members of the managing boards shall carry out their activities on the grounds of contracts whereby the management is entrusted to them.

 

S. 57. (1) An employer who has an employment relationship with a person under s. 55 must grant that person a non-paid leave for the duration of the corresponding term of office. After the expiry or termination of the term of office the employer shall reinstate the person in his or her former position.

(2) The persons under s. 55 who, at the moment of election or approval by the National Radio and Television Council, have employment relationships with another employer, shall have the right to terminate them under the conditions of s. 325, item 8 of the Labour Code.

(3) The persons under s. 55 who, at the moment of election or approval by the National Radio and Television Council, have employment relationships with higher schools or scientific organisations as professors having academic ranks or as researchers placed on an equal footing, shall have the right to continue their teaching or scientific activities during their term of office.

 

S. 58. (1) The managing boards of BNR and BNT shall consist of five members each who shall be approved by the National Radio and Television Council on a proposal from the corresponding managing directors.

(2) The managing boards of BNR and BNT shall include the corresponding managing director who shall be chairman of the board ex lege.

(3) The managing boards of BNR and BNT shall elect from among themselves a deputy chairman who shall perform the functions of the managing director in the absence of the latter.

 

S. 59. (1) May be members of the managing boards of BNR and BNT persons having Bulgarian nationality who reside in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, have a degree of higher education and professional experience in the field of radio and television activities, culture, journalism, the audio-visual, telecommunications, law or economics.

(2) May not be members of the managing board of BNR or BNT, respectively, persons who;

1. have been convicted for intentional crimes prosecuted on indictment;

2. are sole traders, owners, members, managers, representatives or members of governing and controlling bodies of commercial companies and co-operatives;

3 have been employed or supernumerary collaborators of the former State Security.

 

S. 60. (1) The term of office of the managing boards of BNR and BNT shall be 3 years.

(2) A person may be elected member of the managing board of BNR or the managing board of BNT for no more than two terms of office.

(3) A person may not be simultaneously member of the managing boards of BNR and BNT, or member of one of those boards and of the National Radio and Television Council.

 

S. 61. (1) The term of office of a member of a managing board shall be terminated earlier by the National Radio and Television Council on a proposal from the

corresponding managing director on the grounds for an earlier termination of the term of office of members of the National Radio and Television Council

(2) In case of appeal against a decision for an earlier removal, the member removed shall perform his or her duties until the judgement of the court comes into effect.

 

S. 62. The managing board of BNR and the managing board of BNT, respectively, shall;

1. determine the guidelines for development, the volume and the structure of the programme,

2. adopt rules on the structure and organisation of activities, the salaries, the payment to supernumerary collaborators, the editorial activities, advertising, the keeping and use of the funds and on the external productions and co-productions;

3. make decisions to set up expert and advisory boards and lay down the procedure for carrying out their activities;

4. adopt the structure and the staff schedule of employees, the conditions and procedure for entering into contracts with supernumerary collaborators and journalists;

5. adopt the draft budget and the subsidy included therein from the State budget; after co-ordination with the National Radio and Television Council, forward to the Ministry of Finance the draft subsidy, in view of its inclusion in the Draft Law on the State Budget;

6. adopt the budget and its allocation, the number of staff, the average salary and the amount of funding for salaries;

7. adopt the report on the execution of the budget;

8. make, on a proposal from the managing directors, a decision on the opening and closing of regional centres and determine their status, structure and management, in co-ordination with the National Radio and Television Council;

9. lay down professional requirements towards the categories of people involved in radio and television activities;

10. approve the job descriptions of employees;

11. approve all contracts for advertising and sponsorship, as well as all other contracts of a value exceeding that stated in the rules on the organisation and activities,

12. approve the making and termination of the employment contracts of officials at managerial positions at BNR or BNT, respectively, and their subdivisions, in accordance with a list of positions contained in the rules on their organisation and activities;

13. decide on other matters within its competence.

 

S. 63. (1) The meetings of the managing boards of BNR and BNT shall be convened by the managing director:

1. on his own initiative, or

2. at the request of at least two members of the board.

(2) The invitation for the meeting shall contain the latter's draft agenda.

(3) The meetings shall be regular if attended by such number of members that is sufficient for making a decision in accordance with the agenda announced in advance.

 

S. 64. The managing boards of BNR and BNT shall make decisions by a simple majority of all members.

S. 65. Throughout their term of office, the members of the managing boards shall receive from BNR or BNT, respectively, a monthly remuneration amounting to three quarters of the monthly remuneration of the members of the National Radio and Television Council.

 

S.66. (1) Only persons satisfying the requirements for members of the National Radio and Television Council shall be elected managing directors of BNR or BNT, respectively.

(2) The term of office of the managing directors of BNR and BNT, respectively, shall be 3 years.

(3) The managing directors of BNR or BNT, respectively, may be elected to the same position for no more than two consecutive 3-year terms of office.

S. 67. The term of office of the general director of BNR or BNT, respectively, shall be terminated earlier:

I. on the grounds for an earlier termination of the term of office of a member of the National Radio and Television Council; .

2. where it is established that he or she commits or allows the commission by other persons of grave or systematic violations of the provisions on the principles governing the activities of radio and television broadcasters.

 

S. 68. The managing director of BNR or BNT, respectively, shall:

1. implement the broadcasting policy;

2. carrying out the operational management of BNR or BNT, respectively,

and their property;

3. propose for approval by the National Radio and Television Council the

members of the managing board and make a proposal to the National Radio and

Television Council for the earlier termination of their term of office;

4. convene and chair the meetings of the managing board;

5. make and terminate the employment contracts with the employees,

6. exercise the rights of an employer under the Labour Code;

7. represent BNR or BNT, respectively, before all natural and legal persons within and without the country.

8. organise the elaboration of the draft budget and present it for approval by the managing board;

9. organise the execution, the finalisation and the accounting of the budget and present it for adoption by the managing board.

 

S. 69. The managing directors of BNR and BNT shall receive a monthly remuneration amounting to the remuneration of a chairman of a standing committee at the National Assembly.

 

Division IV

Financing of BNR and BNT

S. 70. (1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall draft, execute, close and account for an autonomous budget.

(2) The managing boards of BNR and BNT shall, within the framework of their budgets, approve of a budget or budgetary expenditure account of the regional radio and television centres and the other structural units.

(3) Shall be collected as incomes into the budget of BNR and BNT;

1. financing from the Radio and Television Fund;

2. a subsidy from the State budget;

3. own incomes from advertising and sponsorship;

4. revenues from additional activities relating to radio and television activities;

5. donations and wills;

6. interests and other incomes relating to radio and television activities.

(4) The subsidy from the State budget shall be:

1. for the development, production and broadcasting of national and regional programmes; the subsidy shall be determined on the basis of a norm per one hour of programme, as approved by the Council of Ministers;

2. a purpose-oriented subsidy for long-term tangible assets according to a list approved by the Ministry of Finance on an annual basis.

(5) The expenditure part of the budget shall be drafted according to the classification of expenses in the State budget.

(6) The surplus of the sums from income over expenditure at year-end shall be a transitional balance and shall be included in the budget for the next year.

 

S. 71. The Bulgarian National Radio and Television shall assist the production and performance of national audio- and audio-visual works, while reserving for new production, as follows:

1. the Bulgarian National Radio shall reserve for the production and performance of Bulgarian musical and radio-dramatic works not less than 5 per cent of the subsidy from the State budget and the Radio and Television Fund;

2. the Bulgarian National Television shall reserve for Bulgarian televised film works not less than 10 per cent of the subsidy from the State budget and the Radio and Television Fund.

 

Chapter Four

ADVERTISING, RADIO AND TELESHOPPING, AND SPONSORSHIP

Division I

General Provisions

S. 72. (1) Radio and television broadcasters shall have the right to create and include advertising in their programmes.

(2) Separate programmes and broadcasts of radio and television broadcasters may be sponsored.

(3) Advertising and sponsorship shall be carried out by the radio and television broadcasters according to the conditions laid down in this law.

 

S. 73. Advertising and sponsorship shall be arranged for by written contracts between the radio and television broadcasters and the advertiser or the sponsor.

 

S. 74. The rules on advertising shall also apply to radio and teleshopping, respectively.

 

Division II

Advertising

S.75. (1) Advertising should take into account the requirements for fair competition according to the legislation in force.

(2) Advertisements may not incite to a behaviour prejudicial to the health or personal security of citizens, or to a behaviour prejudicial to the environment.

 

S. 76. (1) It shall not be allowed to broadcast advertisements containing pornography or inciting to violence and to behaviour which violates the public order and the generally accepted moral norms.

(2) It shall not be allowed to broadcast advertisements based on national, ethnic, religious, racial, sex or other discrimination.

(3) Advertisements addressed to children or with the participation of children should avoid everything that could affect adversely their physical, mental and moral development.

(4) Advertisements addressed to minors must satisfy the following conditions:

1. it must not incite minors to buying a good or using a service while relying on their lack of experience or credulity;

2. it must not rely on the particular confidence that minors have in parents, teachers and other persons;

3. it must not show minors in dangerous situations.

 

S.77. (1) The prohibitions under s. 76 shall also apply to advertisements using techniques for subliminal suggestions.

(2) Surreptitious advertisements shall be prohibited.

 

S. 78. The advertiser shall be obliged not to influence the contents of the programmes.

 

S. 79. The advertisements cannot make use of the State coat of arms, the anthem of the Republic of Bulgaria, of persons holding elective positions in the State authorities and of the voices and images of journalists working for the broadcasters and regularly presenting news, political and economic broadcasts.

 

S. 80. (1) Advertisements for goods and services for the production of or trade in which a special permission is required may only be included in the programmes of radio and television broadcasters after the advertiser has submitted the permission required.

(2) Any advertisement for tobacco products and smoking shall be prohibited.

(3) Advertising for alcoholic beverages of all kinds must take into account the following requirements:

1. it cannot be addressed to children and minors or be shown in broadcasts intended for them;

2. minors cannot be used as performing artists therein;

3. in the content of an advertisement the consumption of alcohol must not be connected with sports success or driving;

4. it must not claim that alcoholic beverages have therapeutic qualities, or a stimulating or sedative effect, or that they resolve personal problems;

5. it must not encourage the excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages;

6. it must not suggest that high alcoholic content contributes to the positive qualities of alcoholic beverages.

(4) Advertisements for narcotic drugs and other psychotropic substances shall not be allowed.

(5) Advertisements for medicinal products and for medical treatment shall only be included in the programme if they are compatible with the requirements of the legislation in force. Advertisements for medicinal drugs and for medical treatment which is only available on prescription shall not be allowed.

 

S. 81. Shall not be considered advertisements for the purpose of this law the announcements of radio and television broadcasters themselves relating to their own programmes or to the additional services offered by them, as well as the public announcements and appeals for charitable purposes which shall be inserted in the programmes free of charge.

 

S. 82. (1) An advertisement must be clearly recognisable as such and must be kept separate from the other parts of the programme through optical or acoustic means.

(2) Advertisements shall be inserted in the programmes in the form of advertisement blocks. Separate advertisements may also be inserted in the programmes by way of exception.

(3) Advertisements shall be inserted in the programme between the autonomous broadcasts. By way of exception they may also be inserted in the broadcast itself provided that the latter's integrity and quality are not disrupted and that copyright is guaranteed.

(4) In broadcasts consisting of autonomous parts advertisements may be inserted between those parts.

(5) In case of broadcasting of sports events and competitions the advertisements may be inserted between the separate parts or in the pauses in the event or in the competition.

 

S. 83. (1) Advertisements shall not be allowed during national celebrations and religious masses.

(2) News, political and economic commentaries and analyses, documentaries and children broadcasts shall not be interrupted for advertising.

 

S. 84. Entertainment broadcasts, as well as feature films or films for television, except for series, serials, documentaries, may only be interrupted once for each period of 45 minutes provided that the duration of the broadcast or the film exceeds 45 minutes. A further interruption shall be allowed every 20 minutes after the elapsing of two complete periods of 45 minutes each.

 

S. 85. Paid reports shall not be allowed in news and in political broadcasts.

(1) The total duration of advertisements for each separate programme may not exceed:

1. for BNT - 15 minutes over a period of 24 hours and 4 minutes per hour;

2. for BNR - 6 minute per hour;

3. for the remaining radio and television public broadcasters - 6 minutes per hour,

4. for commercial broadcasters - 15 per cent of the transmission time for the day and 12 minutes per hour,

5. the Bulgarian National Television shall be entitled to use up to one third of the total duration of advertising time over a period of 24 hours between 1900 and 2200 h.

(2) The restriction under subsection 1, items 1 and 2 shall not apply to the programmes of BNR and BNT centres outside Sofia which are intended for regional broadcasting.

(3) The restrictions under subsection 1, items 1-3 shall not apply to advertisements inserted in broadcasts in the course of reporting on arts, cultural and sports events of a nation-wide and international importance qualified as such by a decision of the managing boards of the corresponding radio and television broadcasters. In such a case the provision of subsection 1, item 4 shall apply to the duration of advertisements.

 

S. 87. (1) Information advertising films, interviews and announcements for advertising purposes shall be included in the general advertising time.

(2) In the presentation of advertisements under subsection I the participation shall be allowed of journalists who regularly present news, political and economic broadcasts.

 

S. 88. (1) The restriction on the duration of advertising shall not apply to radio and teleshopping spots and to specialised radio and teleshopping broadcasts. In the full television programme of BNT teleshopping spots may be broadcast before and after the programme, whereas teleshopping broadcasts shall not be allowed.

(2) The total number of radio and teleshopping participations may not exceed eight over a period of 24 hours and their total duration may not exceed 3 hours over a period of 24 hours.

(3) Each radio and teleshopping participation must have a minimum duration of 15 minutes.

(4) The restrictions under subsection 2 shall not apply to the specialised radio and teleshopping channels.

 

 

Division III

Sponsorship

S. 89. The autonomous broadcasts of broadcasters may be sponsored in whole or in part.

 

S.90. (1) Political parties and organisations, as well as religious organisations may not be sponsors of broadcasts.

(2) May not be sponsors of broadcasts persons whose principal activities consist in the production of goods and services the advertising for which is prohibited.

(3) Political and economic broadcasts which contain analyses and commentaries or the subject matter of which is similar to the principal nature of business of the sponsor may not be sponsored.

(4) News may not be sponsored, except for sports news where they are separated from the other parts of the programme through optical or acoustic means, or as an autonomous broadcast.

 

S. 91. The sponsor shall not have the right to influence the content and the presentation of the sponsored broadcast.

 

S. 92. (1) Sponsored broadcasts may not invite to the sale, purchase or use of goods and services of the sponsor or of a third person, especially through the mentioning of those goods and services-in the broadcasts.

(2) The name of the sponsor and/or his trade mark shall be mentioned, represented or otherwise identified only in the beginning and in the end of the broadcast.

 

Chapter Five

FINANCING OF RADIO AND TELEVISION ACTIVITIES

Division I

Fees

S. 93. (1) For the financing of public radio and television activities a monthly fee shall be payable on the basis of each registered electric meter.

(2) No fee shall be paid in case of a three-phase current electric meter registered for production purposes.

(3) Persons who do not possess radio and television receivers or do not receive radio and television broadcasts shall disclose that by means of a declaration filed with the corresponding service. They shall be exempted from payment of the fee under subsection 1 as from the day of filing the declaration.

(4) The corresponding service may check at any time the truthfulness of the declaration. Where it is established that the declaration is false or the person does not allow the checking of the truthfulness of the declaration, a double fee shall be due for the entire period as from the day of filing the declaration.

 

S. 94. ( 1 ) Citizens shall pay a fee under s. 93 amounting to 06 per cent of the minimum wage for the country determined by the Council of Ministers for each registered electric meter.

(2) Legal and natural persons carrying on commercial activities, as well as State and municipal organisations shall pay a monthly fee amounting to 2.5 per cent of the minimum wage for the country determined by the Council of Ministers for each registered electric meter

 

S. 95. The fee under s 94 shall be payable together with the sums due for electric power according to the applicable procedure, at the cash desks of the electricity supply enterprises of the National Electric Company EAD.

 

S. 96. Shall be exempted from payment of the fees citizens with injured hearing or seeing who have been recognised as suffering disability of II degree.

 

S. 97. (1) No fee shall be payable in case where receivers and appliances are used by medical establishments, nurseries and kinder gardens, educational, social and cultural institutions included in a list proposed by the corresponding ministries and agencies and approved by the National Radio and Television Council, as well as in cases where the receivers and appliances are used as monitors.

(2) The list under subsection 1 shall be published in the Information Newsletter of the National Radio and Television Council and shall be regularly updated.

 

Division II

Radio and Television Fund

S. 98. ( 1 ) A Radio and Television Fund is hereby set up with the National Radio and Television Council in order to finance radio and television activities.

 

S. 99. ( 1 ) The Radio and Television Fund shall be managed by a managing board the composition of which shall be determined by the National Radio and Television Council.

(2) The managing board shall mandatorily include a representative of the Ministry of Finance, a representative of the Committee of Posts and Telecommunications, a representative of the public radio and television broadcasters and a representative of the commercial radio and television broadcasters.

(3) The National Radio and Television Council shall adopt rules on the organisation and activities of the Radio and Television Fund and of its managing board.

 

S. 100. The managing board shall elect a chairman from among its members.

 

S. 101. (1) The National Radio and Television Council shall appoint an executive director of the Radio and Television Fund who shall manage the Fund's operational work.

(2) The executive director may not be a member of the managing board.

 

S. 102. The sums in the Radio and Television Fund shall be raised from:

1. collected monthly fees for the reception of radio and television programmes,

2. 80 per cent of the initial license fees collected by the State Telecommunications Commission from broadcasters holding individual licenses granted for radio and television activities within the meaning of the Law on Telecommunications;

3. 50 per cent of the collected annual fees for controlling the fulfilment of the licenses granted for radio and television activities;

4. interests on the sums raised in the Fund;

5. donations and wills;

6. other sources laid down by law.

 

S. 103. (1) The sums from the Radio and Television Fund shall be disbursed

for:

1. financing of BNR and BNT;

2. financing of the National Radio and Television Council;

3. financing of projects of nation-wide importance connected with the

implementation and use of new technologies in the radio and television activities;

4. financing of major cultural and educational projects;

5. financing of projects and activities intended to enlarge the broadcasting of

radio and television programmes in terms of population and/or territory;

6. the Fund's management;

7. the National Electric Company EAD, in connection with the collection of

the fees under s. 93.

(2) The financing of BNR and BNT shall be for:

1. development, production and broadcasting of national and regional programmes according to a norm per one hour of programme determined by the National Radio and Television Council on a proposal from BNR and BNT;

2. a purpose-oriented financing of long-term tangible assets.

(3) The National Radio and Television Council shall open an extra-budgetary account with the Bulgarian National Bank where it shall keep the sums of the Radio and Television Fund.

 

S.104.The surplus of the sums from income over expenditure at year-end shall be a transitional balance and shall be disbursed during the next year according to its intended use.

 

Chapter Six

LICENSING OF RADIO AND TELEVISION BROADCASTERS

Division I

General Provisions

S. 105. (1) Radio and television activities shall be carried out on the grounds of licenses granted by the State Telecommunications Commission.

(2) May apply for licenses only natural persons who are sole traders and legal persons within the meaning of Bulgarian legislation.

(3) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall carry out radio and television activities as national public operators on the grounds of licenses granted by the State Telecommunications Commission.

(4) May not apply for the grant of licenses:

1. legal persons to which an authorisation has been refused or withdrawn for the conduct of insurance operations, by virtue of paragraph 8a of the Law on Insurance;

2. legal persons in which the legal persons under item I above or their members or shareholders have holdings,

3. legal persons which cannot prove the title to their property or to the capital, by virtue of s. 6 of the Law on Measures against Money Laundering;

4. legal persons in which the legal persons under item 3 above or their members or shareholders have holdings;

5. legal persons which, over the five-year period preceding the application for a license, have been adjudged insolvent or which are parties to pending insolvency or liquidation proceedings;

6. legal persons having as members or shareholders persons included in the list under s. 3, subsection 1 of the Law on Information concerning Non-serviced Credits;

7. legal persons having as members or shareholders who are also members or shareholders of legal persons with a registered nature of business "advertising" or carrying on advertising;

8. legal persons in which there are members or shareholders who are also members or shareholders of legal persons with a registered nature of business "security guarding" or carrying on security guarding;

9. telecommunications operators in a dominant position in the market.

 

S. 106. (1) The license shall be personal.

(2) Transfer of the license shall be admitted by the State Telecommunications Commission after a decision of the National Radio and Television Council.

 

S. 107. ( 1) In case where a person applies simultaneously for a license as a radio or television broadcaster and for a license as a telecommunications operator, a separate license shall be granted under this law.

(2) Licensed radio and television broadcasters shall ensure the broadcasting of their programmes in accordance with the requirements and deadlines laid down in the license.

(3) In case of delay in the performance of the obligations under subsection 2, the State Telecommunications Commission may withdraw the license on that ground alone.

 

S. 108. While submitting the documents for the grant of licenses under s.111 the candidates shall declare that they do not hold stakes, shares or other rights of participation in radio and television broadcasters above the threshold admissible under the anti-trust legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria.

 

S. 111. (1) The licences shall be granted for a period of 10 years.

(2) In the cases under s. 3, subsection 3 the term of the licenses under this law shall be brought into line with the term of the licenses under the Law on Telecommunications.

 

S. 110. (1) The license for radio and television activities shall contain:

1. name (business name) and registered office of the radio or television broadcaster;

2. type (public or private);

3. date on which the license is granted;

4. initial date of broadcasting the programme;

5. scope of broadcasting (national, regional, local);

6. term of the license;

7. technical and other requirements to the programmes.

(2) The license shall include obligations to observe the requirements under s. 6, subsection 3 and s. 7, and the principles for carrying on radio and television activities under ss. 10 and 19.

 

Division II

Procedure for the grant of license

S. 111. (1) Applicants for a license for radio and television activities shall file a written application to the State Telecommunications Commission to which they shall enclose:

1. an instrument of constitution,

2. a certificate of court registration or documents certifying the formation of the legal person;

3. a certificate from the tax service for taxes paid as at the moment of filing the application,

4. a proposal as to the means of broadcasting the programmes;

5. a declaration under s. 108;

6. a declaration that the circumstances under s. 105, subsection 4 do not exist;

7. proofs of the financial ability to carry on the activities;

8. a programme project, programme concept, programme profile, programme scheme, a list of additional radio and television services;

9. proofs as to the commercial rights and ceded copyright for protected works in the programmes and for ceded related rights for the provision of others' programmes for broadcasting.

 

S. 112. ( 1) An authorised official of the State Telecommunications Commission shall check the regularity of the documents filed under s. 111.

(2) Where omissions and drawbacks are established in the documents under s. 111 the candidates shall be given 7 days to remove them and the term shall run as from the notification. Where the omissions and drawbacks have not been removed until the expiration of the time-limit, the documents of the candidate shall not be examined.

 

S. 113. Within 7 days as from the receipt of the documents or from the expiration of the time limit under s. 112, item 2 the State Telecommunications Committee shall forward them to the National Radio and Television Council.

 

S. 114. (1) Only members of the State Telecommunications Commission and of the National Radio and Television Council shall have access to the documents filed.

(2) The members of the State Telecommunications Commission and the National Radio and Television Council must keep the secret of the information contained in the documents under s. 111.

 

S. 115. (1) Within one month after receipt of the documents the National Radio and Television Council shall pronounce a reasoned decision on the request made for granting a license for radio and television activities.

(2) Within 7 days as from the pronouncement, the National Radio and Television Council shall forward to the State Telecommunications Commission the decision under subsection 1 to which the applicant's documents shall be enclosed.

(3) Where the request for a license for radio and television activities is granted, the National Radio and Television Council shall also enclose a draft license.

(4) Within one month the State Telecommunications Commission shall issue the license in accordance with the Law on Telecommunications.

 

S. 116. In case where the National Radio and Television Council is of the opinion that for the grant of a license it is necessary to conduct a contest, the latter shall be conducted in accordance with conditions and procedure laid down in an ordinance issued by the Council of Ministers.

 

Division III

Supervision, modification and termination of license

S. 117. Supervision for compliance with this law and for the requirements of the license shall be carried out by the corresponding officials of the National Radio and Television Council.

 

S. 118. Where offences are established, the National Radio and Television Council must, within 1 month, discuss the documents and the evidence produced and make a proposal to the State Telecommunications Commission concerning the imposition of a penalty payment under this law and/or make a decision concerning the modification or termination of the license.

 

S. 119. ( 1 ) Where a change is established in the activities of a licensed radio or television broadcaster, namely a conversion from public to commercial, the National Radio and Television Council shall make a proposal to terminate the license.

(2) The person under subsection 1 may apply for a license as a commercial radio and television broadcaster.

(3) The person under subsection 1 shall have the right to request that his license be modified where this is necessary to change the nature of its activities from public into commercial.

 

S. 120. In the cases under s. 119 the National Radio and Television Council shall make proposals to the State Telecommunications Commission for modification or termination of the license.

 

S. 121. The license shall be terminated in case of:

1. expiration of its time limit;

2. its withdrawal;

3. the winding up of the legal person.

 

S. 122. The license shall be withdrawn in case of:

1. grave breaches of the principles governing the radio and television activities;

2. systematic violations of the provisions of s. 6, subsection 3, ss. 7, 10 and 19,

3. establishing of false data in the declarations under s. 111.

 

S. 123. Withdrawal of the license of a radio and television broadcaster shall be effected by the State Telecommunications Commission on the grounds of a decision of the National Radio and Television Council and in accordance with the Law on Telecommunications.

 

S. 124. The legal person must discontinue its radio or television activities upon withdrawal of the license.

 

S. 125. (1) 6 months before the expiry of the term of the license at the latest a licensee should state his intention for a new license to be granted for the same activities, while complying with the same licensing requirements.

(2) The National Telecommunications Council shall check the existence of the circumstances for the grant of a license in the cases under subsection 1 and shall notify in writing the State Telecommunications Commission and the licensee of its decision within 3 months before the expiry of the term of the license.

(3) Where the decision grants the request for a new license for radio and television activities, the State Telecommunications Commission shall grant the license in accordance with S.115.

 

Chapter Seven

ADMINISTRATIVE LIABILITY

S. 126. (1) For offences under ss. 11-14, ss. 16-18, s. 73, ss. 75-80, ss. 82-86, ss. 90-92 and s. 107, subsection 3, radio and television broadcasters shall be liable to a penalty payment from 2 million to 15 million Levs.

(2) In case that the offence is repeated, a penalty payment of a double amount shall be imposed.

(3) The administrative liability provisions under the Law on Copyright and Related Rights shall apply to offences under s. 19.

 

S. 127. (1) Offences shall be established by the officials of the National Radio and Television Council.

(2) The penalty warrants shall be issued by an official authorised by the State Telecommunications Commission.

(3) The establishing of offences, the issuance of, appeal against and enforcement of penalty warrants shall be made in accordance with the Law on Administrative Offences and Penalties.

ADDITIONAL PROVISION

 

1. For the purposes of this law:

1. "Broadcasting" means the initial emission or transmission, regardless of the telecommunications means employed, of a radio or television programme intended for reception by listeners or viewers. It shall also include the exchange (retransmission) of programmes between broadcasters so that they could be received by the audience. It shall not extend to communication services operated on individual demand.

2. "Production" means an act of creativity which includes an author's idea and its audio-visual realisation aimed at producing a broadcast or programme.

3. "Programme" means a system of all elements which is produced and transmitted by a broadcaster through a signal at a given frequency and constitutes the carrier of a given content distributed within a time schedule.

4. "Broadcast" means an autonomous part of a programme which differs from the others in its content, character and authorship.

5. "Systematic" means committing an offence under the same chapter of this law three or more times.

6. "Bulgarian audio- and audio-visual works" means works created or realised exclusively by or in association with Bulgarian citizens, which are created on the basis of works by Bulgarian citizens. Shall also be considered Bulgarian the works created on the basis of bilateral agreements between Bulgarian and foreign producers provided that the Bulgarian producers have a prevailing contribution to the total costs of the production and that such production is managed by one or several Bulgarian producers.

7. "European audio- and audio-visual works" means works created exclusively by or in association with producers registered in Member States of the European Union, in countries which are third parties with regard to the Convention for Transfrontier Television of the Council of Europe, or in countries with which the European Union has entered into agreements in the audio-visual sector. The works must be created by citizens of one or more European States. Shall also be considered European the works which are created within the framework of bilateral agreements between European countries and third countries provided that the European co-producers have a prevailing financial contribution to the total costs of the production and that such production is managed by one or more European producers.

8. "Major event" means an event having a social, political, economic, sports or entertaining character affecting the interests of the prevailing part of the audience.

9. "Exclusive right" means the right to cover an event, acquired for payment by a single radio or television broadcaster.

10. "Additional information" means specialised information broadcast at the same frequency and through the same technical means as the programme of a given radio-or television broadcaster but which does not constitute an element of the programme.

11. "Teletext" means an alphanumeric message consisting of an information, reference and advertising part and intended for transmission by a television broadcaster in an open mode or encoded in the synchronising signal.

12. "Advertisement" means any public announcement included in the programme of a radio or television broadcaster in connection with trade, work, craft or profession, aimed to promote the sale, purchase or leasing of a good or service, including real estate, to contribute to advancing a cause or idea or to bring about some other effect desired by the advertiser. For that announcement the advertiser is provided with transmission time in the programme for payment or for another similar consideration. That type of public announcement shall not include teleshopping:

a) "surreptitious advertisement" means the representation through acoustic or optical means of goods, services or of the name, the trademark and the activities of a producer of goods or services in broadcasts which are not intended for advertising and where such representation might mislead the audience.

b) "techniques for subliminal suggestions in advertising" means indirect specific (including technical) methods for advertising which are not indicated as advertisements and are not recognised by the audience, e.g. :. utilisation of a twenty-fifth frame, broadcasting of infra sounds, etc. Those means shape a subliminal psychical reaction and attitude among the audience towards the advertised goods, services, etc.

13. "Radio and television market" means any direct offer to the public that is broadcast with the purpose of sale or supply of goods and services, including estates, rights and obligations, for payment.

14. "New technologies" means all technical means aimed at improving the ways of producing, broadcasting and receiving radio and television programmes.

15. "interactivity" means the set of means and methods, including technical ones, for feedback from the audience to the radio and television broadcaster.

16. "Digital technologies" means technologies for the production and broadcasting of radio and television programmes which expand the possibilities for transmission, processing and storing of additional information, including through compression of the video signal, as well as the possibilities for a high quality reception.

17. "Retransmission" means the simultaneous and unaltered reception and transmission, regardless of the technical means used, entirely and without any modifications, of radio and television programmes or of big portions thereof which are broadcast in order to be received by the large audience.

18. "Full programme" means a radio and television programme with diverse contents where information, educational, cultural and entertainment broadcasts prevail.

19. "Participation" means a radio and television programme with a limited duration within the framework of the main programme, which is specific in terms of contents.

20. "Sponsorship" means any contribution of a natural or legal person, which does not participate in a radio and/or television activity or in the production of audio- and audio-visual works, to the direct or indirect financing of radio and television programmes in view of popularising in the society of its name, trade mark, reputation, activity or production.

21. "Private life" means the life of a human being in a family, health and sexual aspect.

22. "Information coverage" means the production and broadcasting within the framework of topical political publicism broadcasts and the news, of a duration sufficient to transmit exhaustively the contents of the covered event. In case where another radio and television broadcaster holds the exclusive rights over the event, the right to a free information coverage includes: the right to direct access, to a recording which should be used solely for the production of a material ofa duration not exceeding 90 seconds.

 

TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

2. (1) The National Radio and Television Council shall receive asubsidy from the State budget for its maintenance until the year 2002.

(2) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall receive a subsidy from the State budget until 31 December 2002 in accordance with s. 70, subsection 3, items 2 and 3.

(3) The Bulgarian National Radio, the Bulgarian National Television and the National Radio and Television Council shall receive a subsidy from the State budget and financing from the Radio and Television Fund in amounts determined on the basis of a norm per one hour of programme, approved by the Council of Ministers, as follows:

1. for the year 2003 - 50 per cent subsidy from the State budget and 50 per cent financing from the Radio and Television Fund;

2. for the year 2004 - 40 per cent subsidy from the State budget and 60 per cent financing from the Radio and Television Fund;

3. for the year 2005 -30 per cent subsidy from the State budget and 70 per cent financing from the Radio and Television Fund;

4. for the year 2006 - 20 per cent subsidy from the State Budget and 80 per cent financing from the Radio and Television Fund.

(4) As from 1 January 2007 the subsidy from the State budget for BNR, BNT and the National Radio and Television Council shall be entirely replaced with financing from the Radio and Television Fund. The amount of the financing shall be determined in accordance with s. 103, subsection 1, items 1 and 2.

 

3. (1) Until 1 January 2003 the revenue-controlling powers of the managing board of the Radio and Television Fund shall be exercised by the National Radio and Television Council.

(2) Not later than 3 months before the expiry of the time-limit under subsection 1 the National Radio and Television Council shall determine the members of the managing board of the Radio and Television Fund, appoint an executive director for the Fund and adopt the rules under s. 99, subsection 3.

 

4. (1) Radio and television broadcasters licensed before the entry into force of this law in accordance with the then existing legislative instruments, including those whose license has expired, shall be licensed in accordance with s. 125.

(2) Legal persons carrying on de facto radio and television activities must undertake the necessary steps to be licensed under this law in accordance with s. 105 within 3 months as from the entry of the law into force.

(3) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television must submit the necessary documents under s. 111 in view of their being licensed in accordance with s. 105, subsection 3 within the time-limit under subsection 2.

 

5. (1) The managing boards of BNR and BNT and the managing directors of BNR and BNT elected while the Law on Radio and Television had been in effect (published, SO, issue 77 of 1996; Judgement of the Constitutional Court No. 21 of 1996 -issue 102 of 1996; amended and supplemented, issue 112 of 1997), shall complete their terms of office provided for therein.

(2) The composition of the National Radio and Television Council during the first term of office after the entry into force of this law shall be renewed by lot.

(3) After the expiration of two years the composition of the National Radio and Television Council shall be renewed with two representatives from the quota of the National Assembly and one from the quota of the President.

(4) After the expiration of four years the composition of the National Radio and Television Council shall be renewed with one representative from the quota of the National Assembly and two from the quota of the President.

(5) The programme boards of BNR and BNT shall terminate their terms of office within one month as from the entry into force of this law.

(6) If the managing boards of BNR and BNT decide so, the programme boards may carry on their activities under the condition ofs. 62, item 3.

 

6. (1) The contracts for advertising and sponsorship entered into by BNR and BNT should be reconsidered in order to be brought into line with this law.

(2) In cases where the duration of an advertisement, according to the conditions of all contracts made, exceeds the duration of advertising provided for in s 86, BNR and BNT must propose to the advertiser a reduction or termination of the contracts with them, respectively, as from 1 January 1999.

 

7. The decisions under s. 49, subsection 3 shall be adopted not later than 3 months after the entry into force of this law.

 

8. The term for implementation of the provisions ofs. 62, items 1, 2, 4, 8 and 9 shall not be longer than 6 months after the entry into force of this law.

 

9. Until it obtains a license as a private television broadcaster with a nationwide coverage, the Bulgarian National Television shall not use the right to advertise between 19.00 and 22.00 h.

 

10. This law repeals the Law on Radio and Television (published, SO, issue 77 of 1996, Judgement of the Constitutional Court No. 21 of 1996 - issue 102 of 1996, amended and supplemented, issue 112 of 1997).

The law was passed by the XXXVIIIth National Assembly on 23 September 1998 and on 13 November 1998, and the State Seal has been affixed hereto.

 

 

Chairman of the National Assembly:

 

Yordan Sokolov