Government sells management rights over Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower
Author: By Tamar Khurtsia
The government’s decision to put the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – a free-standing structure used for communication purposes - up for online auction has sparked concerns among industry insiders. Those within the industry are concerned that the takeover could lead to increased service prices for TV companies. Located on top of Mtatsminda mountain (Saint Mount) and overlooking the capital city, the structure is an important landmark.
Nino Jangirashvili, founder of Kavkasia TV, a privately owned opposition-leaning channel, noted in a brief exchange with Georgia Today that the auction’s conditions are “very doubtful.”
“[There] is no detailed information regarding the rights of the new potential investor of the tower that should cause suspicions about future service prices,” she said.
Irakli Moseshvili, a member of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), which oversees the operations of telecommunication and broadcasting companies in Georgia, does not rule out the price increase, saying that this would only harm small broadcasters.
However, as Moseshvili explained to Georgia Today, GNCC has no authority to interfere with the tariff policy of the tower’s new owner.
According to the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, which is in charge of the auction, approximately 100,000 lari is the initial price for taking over the tower’s management for a four-year period. The potential investor is required to maintain the facility’s profile and is required to invest approximately $12 million over the next four years in order to equip it with modern technologies to improve the services it provides.