On the recommendation of the Contract Awards Committee, the BAI may award broadcasting contracts. The BAI may not award a broadcasting contract to entity without a wireless telegraphy licence issued by the Commission for Communication Regulations. The Commission for Communication Regulations may vary the terms and conditions of be wireless telegraphy licence for the purpose of a broadcasting contract. The legislation provides for notification procedures in relation to variation of terms and conditions of licence.
The Minister may suspend wireless telegraphy licences issued to commercial and community radio, television broadcasters and multiplex operators in the event of a national emergency. It may operate or require operation of a service, subject to licence. In such case, the broadcaster or multiplex contractor may receive necessary expenses or compensation.
The BAI may not grant broadcasting contracts to a person convicted of certain offences within the previous five years relating to wireless telegraphy.
The procedures for contract award are set out. Applications are initially sought. The legislation sets out the criteria, which the awards Committee must consider in relation to the applications for award of a broadcasting contract. The Contracts Award Committee may agree on a common score for each applicant and notify the applicant of the reasons for the decisions, score and the score of the successful applicant.
There is provision for a fast-track procedure in relation to the incumbent broadcaster. This may be adopted by the Contract Awards Committee in the event that there is a limited response to a call for expressions of interest to the awarding of a sound broadcasting contract. The BAI may award temporary or institutional sound broadcasting services.
The terms and conditions applicable to contracts including their duration, change of ownership provisions and provisions in relation to preservation of certain categories of programmes by sound broadcasting contractors is provided for.
The BAI may award content provision contracts to commercial and community radio broadcast and television broadcasters to make their services available on broadcasting platforms such as cable, IPTV, satellite, digital terrestrial television and mobile television systems for reception in Ireland or elsewhere. The contract holder is subject to the broadcaster’s duties, codes and rules above.
The BAI may award community content provision contracts for community television services to persons who represent local communities. The BAI may carry out assessments for the needs of the community in terms of broadcasting.
The BAI may enter contracts for the provision of electronic programme guides, where they are made available and provide information in relation to the schedule the programme material and broadcasting services available in Ireland.
There is provision for prioritisation of information regarding broadcasting services by RTÉ, TG4 and the television program service contractors. The BAI may, following consultations with the Commission for Communications Regulation prepare rules in respect of electronic programme guides.
MMD Must Carry
The award of an analogue television broadcasting licence to a television service programme contractor is provided for. Terms and conditions may apply to the television services programme contractor. Provision for the continuance of the then existing contracts held by TV3 Television Network Ltd was made.
There are provisions for rules for must-carry on certain MMD system. There are provisions for rules for must-carry of television services provided by RTÉ, TG4 and the television program services contractor of national radio services provided by RTÉ and broadcasting contractors and of community content provision contractors on certain types of broadcasting transmission networks.
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