Post-Soviet Media Law & Policy Newsletter
Issue 22 Benjamin
N. Cardozo School of Law October 19, 1995
Proposed Amendments to the Ukrainian Law
“On Television and Radio Broadcasting”
What follows are excerpts from amendments to the Ukrainian
Law on Radio and Television as passed by the Supreme Council of Ukraine.
These amendments may be sent back to the Supreme Council by the President
for further refinements. Because of transmission and translation
problems, there are unavoidable problems of formatting and precision.
Article 1. Definitions of Basic Terms.
For purposes of this Law, the following terms shall
a) subscriber—juridical or natural persons who use the services provided
by television and radio broadcasting on a contractual basis;
Article 4. Authority of State Organs over Television
and Radio Broadcasting in Ukraine.
(b) audiovisual information—visual information accompanied by sound;
(c) national broadcasting channel—a broadcasting channel that transmits
tele-radio programs over more than one half of Ukrainian regions;
(d) broadcast channel—an aggregate of technical means, supplied with frequency
receiving facilities used for the transmission of television and radio
broadcasts and programs over the territory defined by the parameters of
technical broadcasting means;
(e) license—a written permit issued by the National Television and Radio
Broadcasting Council of Ukraine that grants the right to create and use
a broadcast channel and air time;
(f) logotype (firm or trademark)— permanent verbal, artistic, or three-dimensional
mark, combined with letters, figures, words, or symbols which is the emblem
of a television company, studio, agency, or a private person, that presents
tele-radio broadcasts and programs of their own;
(g) television and radio broadcasting—transmission of audio or visual information
with the aid of electromagnetic waves which are disseminated by special
facilities and intended for reception by an unlimited number of receivers;
(h) National Television Company/National Radio Company—state tele-radio
organizations that broadcast on national channels shall operate under the
supervision of the Supreme Council of Ukraine and the President of Ukraine.
(i) live broadcasting—the direct dissemination of tele- radio broadcasts
and programs without preliminary taping or editing;
(j) radio broadcasting—the production and dissemination of audio programming;
(k) social broadcasting—special broadcasts or programs for the blind, deaf,
or hearing disabled, of an educational, instructional, or informational
nature including programs concerning ecological education;
(l) sponsorship—participation of juridical or natural persons in the direct
or indirect financing of broadcasts and programs for the purpose of advertising
of their name, firm, or trademark;
(m) sublease of a broadcast channel—legally registered or undisclosed yielding
of a license for the use of a broadcast channel to a non licensee, including
the systematic re-transmission of signals of other tele-radio companies,
except when tele-radio organizations lawfully give away or exchange their
programs or re-broadcast news, sports, or other events;
(n) public broadcasting—broadcasting on a channel on the basis of a uniform
telecommunication concept that is financed by the state (with the right
for a control share), as well as by public associations, tele-radio companies,
individuals whose share in participation cannot exceed 10 percent. The
public broadcasting channel shall be administered by the Civil Council
through an authorized executive body;
(o) broadcasting—dissemination of programs or visual and audio information
by means of technical communication facilities;
(p) telecommunication—transmission and receiving of any kind of images,
audio and visual signals by means of electromagnetic facilities of communication,
including but not limited to cable, visual, and radio-communication;
(q) television—production and dissemination of audiovisual programs and
(r) tele-radio organization (editorial staff, studio, agency, amalgamation,
association, company, radio station)— a juridical entity, registered in
the manner established by applicable laws entitled to produce and distribute
tele-radio programs and broadcasts;
(s) tele-radio employee—a state or private employee of a tele-radio organization,
who by nature of his or her professional activity participates in the creation
and distribution of tele-radio broadcasts and programs;
(t) tele-radio program—a series of tele-radio broadcasts which are transmitted
either live or on tape;
(u) tele-radio center (television center, radio center, technical
tele-radio broadcasting center)—an enterprise providing technical maintenance
of equipment designated for the production of tele-radio programs and broadcasts;
(v) technical means of broadcasting—the aggregate of radio-electronic means
and technical facilities by which programs and broadcasts are delivered
to viewers and listeners.
The Supreme Council of Ukraine and the President
of Ukraine shall establish government policy regulating television and
radio broadcasting, and provide a legislative basis for its implementation,
and guaranty social and legal protection in this field.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine shall ensure the
implementation of a government policy regulating television and radio broadcasting,
and coordinate the activity of the ministries and other central bodies
of governmental executive powers governing television and radio broadcasting.
The State Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting
shall ensure that the government information policy, established by the
Supreme Council, the President of Ukraine is implemented by the National
Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine.
The authority of the Supreme Council of the Republic
of Crimea and local Councils of peoples deputies over the development of
local television and radio broadcasting shall be governed by applicable
legislation of Ukraine.
Article 5. National Television and Radio Broadcasting
For purposes of the implementation and observance
of legislation concerning television and radio broadcasting and other normative
acts, a National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council (hereinafter
the “National Council”) shall be created.
The National Council shall be a controlling body,
independent from other governmental administrative bodies, functioning
in accordance with the present Law and applicable legislation of Ukraine
and shall be responsible for the development of television and radio broadcasting,
its quality, and the professional, artistic, and ethical level of tele-radio
organizations broadcasts and programs.
The composition of the National Council shall be adopted
by the Supreme Council of Ukraine and consist of 8 persons for the term
of 4 years: four candidates shall be nominated by the Chair of the Supreme
Council of Ukraine and four candidates shall be nominated by the President
Members of the National Council on a standing basis,
shall be state officials and may not hold any positions in other government
or non-government institutions, organizations, or enterprises, nor may
they receive separate compensation for the work done, excluding honoraria
for creative activity or lectures, or engage in entrepreneurial activity
in the field of television or radio broadcasting, and shall suspend membership
any political parties.
Members of the National Council and its staff employees
may not receive any compensation, including salaries, from tele-radio organizations,
enterprises, entities, and organizations.
Members of the National Council and its staff employees
may not be founders of tele-radio organizations or participate in commercial
A Member of the National Council shall be suspended
in case of:
(a) submission of an application of resignation;
If a member of the National Council is suspended, the
election of a new candidate shall be held according to the procedure stipulated
by this Article.
(b) the loss of citizenship of Ukraine;
(c) violation of regulations, stipulated in Articles 2 of this Law;
(d) expression of non-confidence by the Supreme Council;
(e) non-fulfillment of duties and professional neglect;
(f) Conviction and sentence passed by the court.
Members of the National Council shall elect from among
themselves the Chair of the National Council, the first deputy, and Deputy
Chair. The Chair of the National Council and the first deputy shall have
been nominated by different branches of power. The Chair of the National
Council and his deputies shall be accountable to the National Council.
The Chair and his deputies shall work in the National
Council on a professional basis. The remaining members of the National
Council shall serve without monetary compensation.
The Chair of the National Council shall: organize activity
of the National Council, supervise preparation of issues for its consideration;
call meetings of the National Council on his own initiative or on the proposal
of not less than two members of the National Council, submit the issues
for consideration of the National Council, and preside at the meetings;
organize the work of the National Council staff; issue orders and regulations,
sign licenses granting the right to use broadcasting channels, and also
notify on the rejection of issuing the license or annulment of the license
in accordance with the decision of the Council . . . .
The fundamental functions of the National Council shall
— Coordination of concepts aimed at the development
of the Ukrainian broadcasting information space and participation in its
— The granting of licenses to tele-radio organizations
on the competitive basis for the right to use broadcasting channels and
broadcasting air time;
— Control over observance of legislation in the sphere
of television and radio broadcasting and terms, as stipulated in the license;
— Ensuring validity of the rights of television viewers
and radio listeners;
— Supervision of rational usage of radio frequencies
intended for tele-radio broadcasting;
— Participation in the making and implementation of
international treaties of Ukraine on the issues of television and radio
The duties of the National Council shall be:
— the establishment and administration of the State
Register of Tele-Radio Organizations of Ukraine, including the creation
of a uniform data bank of these organizations;
— supervision of the observance by tele-radio organizations
of the terms of applicable legislation, especially regarding foreign investments
and the procedure of broadcasting during elections and referenda campaigns;
. . .
— the issuance of regulations for the procedure of obtaining
a license, using broadcast channels, and competition for the granting of
licenses. . . .
— coordinating the amount of the fee for issuance of
a license, and also establishing of maximum tariffs for leasing of technical
means of broadcasting, minimum price levels for advertisement disseminated
via national broadcast channels, and correlating them with the respective
standing Commission of the Supreme Council of Ukraine;
— analysis of the practical application of legislation
concerning the issues within its competence, and elaboration of proposals
aimed at its improvement;
— organization of seminars aimed at the improvement
of the activity of tele-radio organizations, assistance in training and
re-training of broadcasting professionals for television and radio broadcasting,
— establishment of international links, and study of
the experience of the respective foreign organizations; formulation of
rules for documentation, creation and storage of temporary and permanent
archives of television and radio programs, creation and presentation of
national archives and museum of tele-radio broadcasting;
— rendering of the consulting assistance in the field
of tele-radio broadcasting;
— submission of annual reports about its activity to
the Supreme Council of Ukraine and to the President of Ukraine which reports
shall be disseminated in the mass media).
The National Council shall have the right to:
— consider a license invalid if the license holding
tele-radio organization did not begin operation within two months after
the grant of the license;
— obtain from all tele-radio organizations documents,
lists, and explanations concerning their activity in accordance with applicable
— conduct, within the limits of its competency, inspections
into the operations of tele-radio organizations regarding the conditions
and procedures for the use of broadcast channels;
— coordinate with the Main Administration on the issues
of radio frequencies of the Cabinet of Ministers the distribution of radio
frequencies for tele-radio broadcasting, the creation and use of radio
frequency means of broadcasting, and also to elaborate regulations concerning
the use of broadcast channels and terms of any competition for the obtaining
of a license (to be coordinated with the respective bodies of the Supreme
Council of Ukraine and disseminated in the mass media);
— impose punishment in case of violation of applicable
legislation of Ukraine and the conditions stipulated in the license;
— conduct auditing of tele-radio organizations.
In cases of violation by a tele-radio organization of
applicable legislation of Ukraine and the conditions stipulated in the
license, the National Council may:
— issue a warning;
— impose monetary fines;
— temporarily (up to two months) suspend operation of
— revoke the license if:
— a tele-radio organization
has violated requirements of Article 2 of this Law;
— a tele-radio organization
despite the warning and temporary suspension of its operation, continues
to violating applicable legislation and the conditions stipulated in the
The National Council shall bear no responsibility for
the damages to the license-holder that occur because of the lawful annulment
of the license. There shall be judicial review of decisions of the
National Council may be settled in the court. In case of an unlawful act
on behalf of the National Council, it shall be obliged to compensate for
Article 7. Antimonopoly Restrictions.
A tele-radio organization, as well as its subsidiaries,
do not have the right to broadcast on more than two television channels
and three radio channels on the territory of the entire country, province,
city or other region designated in its license, except for cable (wire)
networks and broadcasting to foreign countries.
A juridical or natural person does not have the right
to be a founder or a co-founder of tele-radio organizations which broadcast
on more than two television channels and three radio channels on the territory
of the entire country, province, city or other region.
Tele-radio organizations that broadcast on the national
channel may not obtain the right to operate simultaneously on more than
half of broadcast channels on the territory of the entire country, province,
city or other area.
Communication organizations and enterprises which operate
broadcasting networks may not be founders or co-owners of the tele-radio
Article 11. Structure of National Television
and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine.
The structure of national television and radio broadcasting
of Ukraine shall consist of state, non-state, and public tele-radio organizations
founded by juridical or natural persons in accordance with applicable legislation
Article 12. State Tele-Radio Broadcasting Organizations
The basis of national television and radio broadcasting
of Ukraine shall be state tele-radio organizations funded from the budget
and transmitting television and radio programming to the entire territory
or a particular region of Ukraine and to foreign audiences. In their activity,
state radio organizations shall be governed by the Constitution and laws
of Ukraine, and carry out fundamental tasks stipulated in this Law.
The State Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting
of Ukraine is granted priority rights (within the limits stipulated in
Article 7 of this Law) to use national broadcast channels for which technical
facilities are created at the account of the state budget or state enterprises.
State tele-radio organizations are granted priority rights, based
on the rights provided by the license, to the use of state television and
The annual revenues of state tele-radio organizations from advertising,
sponsors, and other types of activity, outlined in applicable legislation
of Ukraine, shall be used for the development of television and radio networks,
improvement of working conditions for their employees and shall not exceed
50 percent of their budget.
The basic tasks of state tele-radio organizations shall be:
a) To provide information to television viewers and radio listeners
about social-political and other events in Ukraine and abroad, disseminate
official statements, and explain decisions of the bodies of legislative,
executive, and judicial power;
b) To produce and disseminate economic, cultural-educational,
artistic, educational, entertainment, and sports programming, as well as
programs for children and adolescents;
c) To enhance Ukraine’s international relations, and the growth
of its prestige in the world.
CHAPTER 2 Founding of Tele-Radio Organizations and Licensing
of the Broadcast Channels. Article 13. Right to Establish Tele-Radio
The right to establish tele-radio organizations in
Ukraine belongs to the citizens of Ukraine who are not limited in legal
capacity, the Supreme Council of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine and
other juridical persons of Ukraine.
Decisions to establish and structure the National Television
Company and the National Radio Company of Ukraine shall be rendered jointly
by the Supreme Council of Ukraine and the President of Ukraine. Financing
of the National Television Company and the National Radio Company shall
be fixed as a separate item in the State Budget of Ukraine.
One of the national television and radio broadcasting channels
shall be used for public broadcasting.
The Supreme Council of Ukraine shall render the decision to found
tele-radio organizations of public broadcasting. Status and activity of
tele-radio organizations of public broadcasting shall be stipulated by
a separate Law.
Establishment of tele-radio organizations by foreign juridical
or natural persons and persons without citizenship is prohibited in Ukraine.
Establishment and operation of tele-radio organizations with foreign investments
exceeding 30 percent of their capital stock is prohibited.
Foreign investment of tele-radio organizations in Ukraine shall
be under the oversight of, and with the consent of the National Council.
Broadcasting of foreign tele-radio organizations using the broadcast
channels of Ukraine shall be implemented on the basis of international
or interstate agreements.
Registration of tele-radio organizations shall take place in
accordance with the procedure established by applicable legislation of
Ukraine. Each tele-radio organization shall be listed in the State Register
of tele-radio organizations of Ukraine which shall be maintained by the
Article 14. Licensing of Broadcast Channels.
In order to obtain a license for the right to use broadcast channels,
a tele-radio organization, its founder, or an authorized agency must submit
an application to the National Council
The application must contain the following information:
a. About the founder (for a juridical person—the name, legal address, the
bank account number; for a natural person—last name, first name, patronymic
year of birth, citizenship, and address);
b. The name of the tele-radio organization, its bank account,
and other identifying information (logotype, call sign, emblem, etc.);
c. The location of the organization;
d. The general programming concept of the tele-radio organizations
in accordance with the requirements of this law;
e. The language (or languages) in which the broadcasts and programs
will be aired;
f. The intended geographical area of dissemination of programs
g. The expected audience;
h. The periodicity, time, and volume of broadcasting (including
the production of proprietary broadcasts);
i. The form of broadcasting (television, video, audio, tele-text,
j. The means of programming dissemination (over-the-air, cable,
wire, satellite, and others);
k. The location, frequency, and capacity of transmitter...
The application for grant of a license to a tele-radio organization
for the right to use broadcasting channels will be reviewed and a decision
rendered no more than one month from the day of its submission to the National
Council along with the required notification of the applicant of the decision.
A license for the right to use a broadcasting channel shall be issued within
ten days after rendering of a decision by the National Council, under condition
of payment of a fee and shall be the sole legal basis for the right to
use a broadcasting channel.
A license shall contain the information set forth in the application
for its issuance, as well as the: provided frequency channels,geographic
zone of reliable reception, portion of programming of proprietary production
and their thematic tendency, average daily volume of broadcasting, obligations
taken by tele-radio organizations in the course of competitive selection,
term of license validity, date when the license becomes effective, and
date of commencement of broadcasting activity.
In the course of conducting a competitive selection between applicants
for receipt of a license, the National Council shall consider the: interests
of viewers and listeners; the necessity to protect general national interests
and the dissemination of cultural values;the necessity of fuller coverage
of the positions of various social groups in television and radio programming;
conformity of proposals set forth in the application for receipt of a license
and to the conditions of the competition; conformity of tele-radio organizations
technical capabilities and creative potential to the proposals in the application
and to the duty of tele-radio organizations to provide social broadcasting;
and previous experience in operating of a broadcast channel.
Tele-radio organizations which are not registered according to
the established procedure shall not have a right to claim receipt of a
license, nor shall tele-radio organizations founded by political parties,
trade unions, religious organizations, or by entities they have founded
(or appeared as co-founders).
In those cases when multiple applicants have equal grounds for
obtaining a license, the primary right to obtain it shall be enjoyed by
the applicant holding that license in the previous term, if in the course
of operations it did not violate the conditions of the license and the
requirements of applicable legislation.
Article 24. Cable (Wired) Tele-Radio Broadcasting.
Networks of cable (wired) television and radio broadcasting shall
be established by permission of local bodies of the state executive power.
The procedural rules for the operation of tele-radio organizations,
using networks of cable (wired) tele-radio broadcasting shall be stipulated
by Articles 13-18 of this Law.
Cable television organizations must provide to its subscribers
transmitting of the programs of state and public broadcasting via cable
Article 26. The Right of Access to Information.
Tele-radio organizations and their personnel shall have the right
to obtain information necessary for the fulfillment of their statutory
activity from state bodies, enterprises, institutions (of any form of proprietorship)
in accordance with the procedures stipulated by the present legislation
Official persons who provide information shall bear responsibility
for its authenticity.
Article 30. Advertising.
Advertising inside programs shall be explicitly distinguished
and separated from other elements of these programs.
Advertising air time shall not exceed 15 percent per each hour
of broadcasting for tele-radio organizations of any form of proprietorship.
This regulation shall not apply to special advertising broadcast channels.
Interruption of entertainment and sports programs of more than
45 minutes in length shall be done for advertising purposes only once for
every full 45-minute-long segment of time. Programs of less than 45 minutes
in length, cinema, films and TV movies shall not be interrupted by advertising,
unless stipulated otherwise in the contract between the tele-radio organization
and the copyright holder.
Beyond the time limit allocated for advertising, announcers,
TV presenters, and other participants in tele-radio broadcasts may not
purposefully display goods or products, or describe their consumer values,
either directly or indirectly (by means of clothing, outward appearances,
pictures, etc.) Employees of tele-radio organizations shall not advertise
under the guise of information by pointing out detailed information about
a producer of products or services, such as its address, telephone number,
bank account or commercial characteristics of the goods or services.
A tele-radio organization shall bear responsibility for including
in programs or broadcasts advertising of poor
artistic or technical quality. The advertiser shall bear the responsibility
for authenticity of advertising.
Changes in tariffs on advertising, disseminated on national and
public channels shall be determined by the joint decision of the National
Council and a specially authorized central body of the executive power
Article 32. Participation of Sponsors in the Creation of Tele-Radio
Broadcasts may be made with the participation of juridical or
natural persons, who act as sponsors, with the exception of those whose
primary business is the production or the sale of products or services,
for which advertising is prohibited under Article 31 of this Law.
A broadcast made with the participation of sponsors shall be
explicitly and fully identified as such in announcer’s text or titles at
its beginning unless the agreement between the tele-radio organization
and the sponsor stipulates otherwise. Sponsor may promulgate in the program
his name or the name of the firm without providing any other identifying
information (address, telephone number, bank account, etc.)
News bulletins shall not be sponsored. Interference by sponsors
in the professional activity of tele-radio organizations and their employees
Adapted from a translation from Ukrainian by Dina Nikitina and