Serbian Sport TV Channels Back on Kosovo Cable Operators

Kosovo’s Independent Media Commission annulled its decision to suspend Serbia-based sport channels after they had broadcasted messages praising the Serb gunmen who attacked Kosovo Police on September 24, 2023, as 'heroes'.

Kosovo’s Independent Media Commission, KPM, on Tuesday, reinstated the Serbian Arena Sport TV channels which had been suspended for displaying messages supporting the armed Serbs killed during a shootout with Kosovo Police in Serb-majority northern Kosovo on September 24, 2023.

“The suspended channels have learned their lesson and inappropriate glorifications have ceased. …The office has monitored the implementation of this decision throughout. Such an approach will not be tolerated,” KPM member, Besnik Berisha, said in the meeting on Tuesday.

In early October 2023, KPM suspended the broadcast of ten Arena Sport TV channels which were carried on Kosovo’s main cable TV platforms.

Graphics displayed on the TV screen bore the messages: “We will remember” and “Glory to heroes” accompanied by a photo of Banjska Monastery- where the attack by Serbian gunmen occurred last year, Serbia’s coat of arms, and the date “24.09.2023,” together with the inscription “Manastir Banjska” at the bottom left of the screen.

Artmotion, one of the biggest cable operators in the country, had requested the postponement of this decision, however, two instances of the Kosovo Commercial Court had rejected it, ruling in favor of the KPM decision.

At Tuesday’s meeting, KPM also decided to renew the license for the Artmotion cable operator, acknowledging that this is subject to the final decision of the Commercial Court regarding the suspension of the business certificate by the Kosovo Business Registration Agency.

The Ministry of Industry, Entrepreneurship, and Trade, MINT, in mid-June, 2023, had suspended the business certificate of Kosovo broadcaster Klan Kosova-also owner of cable operator Artmotion, and had filed  a criminal complaint against the company, responsible persons within it, and officials from the Business Registration Agency, on suspicion of misuse of official duties as well as misuse of economic authorizations.

According to a decision shared by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo, AJK, the ministry suspended Klan Kosova’s business certificate because the owners’ residential address is allegedly registered as “Pejë – Serbia and Gjakovë – Serbia” [which is] in violation with the basic principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo”. Both of these towns are in Kosovo, not Serbia.

The Ministry had published documentation in the Macedonian language, stating that the owner of Klan Kosova presented Kosovo as part of Serbia during the business registration process in North Macedonia.

and 07/02/2024 - 15:27

07 February 2024 - 15:27

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