The head of the Serbian electronic media regulator Olivera Zekic told the Beta news agency on Wednesday that she would never allow the authorities to pressure the body which has the last word on TV broadcasting licenses.
Zekic denied claims that the authorities interfered with the Council of the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) while it decided which stations would get four of the five available TV licenses. The licenses went to four pro-regime stations which already had national coverage permits (TV Pink, Happy TV, TV Prva and B92 TV).
She said that she expects the authorities to refrain from interfering in the decision on the fifth national frequency license, adding that the tender for that frequency will be decided by majority vote by the REM Council. According to Zekic, each of the 9 Council members votes independently for the station that they think meets the criteria for a license with the permit going to the station which gets at least five votes.
REM Council member Judita Popovic said she believes the fifth national frequency will got to N1 TV or Nova S. “I honestly believe that alongside myself, at least four other REM Council members will vote for N1 or Nova S. I believe common sense will prevail in the Council and that the will to move from the place where there is no media pluralism will be there. That is the key reason I am still a member of REM,” she said.
The recent tender was for four national TV frequencies because those licenses expired on August 4 and had to be decided by then while the fifth was free after a failed tended in 2019.