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Satellite Broadcasting


 Law No 531

Satellite Broadcasting

The Parliament has adopted,

And the President of the Republic has published the following law:

Sole Article:

The draft law related to satellite broadcasting and encoded TV broadcasting was ratified as amended by the Committee of Information, Post and Telecommunications.

This law enters in vigor as soon as it is published in the official gazette.

Baabda, July 23, 1996

Issued and signed by the President of the Republic Elias Hraoui

Signed by the Prime Minister Rafic Hariri

Law Related to Satellite Broadcasting

Article 1: This law defines:

1- Rules for leasing channels to broadcast and receive sound and image via satellites and through terrestrial stations belonging to the Ministry of PTT.

2- Fees and charges incurred by such leasing.

Article 2:

Channels to broadcast or receive sound and image via satellite can be leased under a decree issued by the Council of Ministers upon the Minister of PTT’s proposal, through the Ministry’s terrestrial stations in conformity with provisions stipulated by the present law.

Provisions of Articles 233, 234, 235 and 250 of the Law-decree No 126 dated 12/6/1959 are applied on licensing.

Article 3:

For each channel, the leasing request shall be submitted in three copies to the Ministry of PTT, which shall seek in this regard the Minister of Information’s advice within 15 days at the latest.

The following documents shall be enclosed with the request:

1- The license candidate’s name and address.

2- The name and address of the person responsible for broadcasting.

3- A detailed technical study defining the origin of broadcasting, the means and stages for terrestrial and satellite transmission, till the final broadcasting. It shall state the technical specifications of equipments to be linked to the terrestrial station antenna, including the capacity of telecommunications equipments that will be used between the company’s station and the terrestrial one, as well as the transmission mode, whether encoded, compact, regular, or others.

4- The company’s pledge to abide by the provisions of enforced laws and regulations and by leasing conditions, as well as its pledge not to broadcast:

a- Political news and programs, whether directly or indirectly, unless it is authorized to do it by a decision taken by the Cabinet upon the Minister of Information’s proposal.

b- Programs that may disrupt public order or may harm the state’s security, its good relations with friendly Arab or foreign countries; or programs that affect the security of these countries.

c- Pornographic programs harming public morals.

d- Programs inciting to confessional feuds, criticizing or degrading religious beliefs of regions receiving them.

e- Anything that may lead to the propaganda of relations with the Zionist enemy.

f- Any program whatsoever not authorized by its owner or legal representative.

g- The company shall get the Minister of Information’s prior authorization on its general grid before broadcasting it.

The company shall submit to the Ministry of Information a permanent and unconditioned bank affidavit for the amount of 299 million LP, of which are deducted when necessary, amounts that may be incurred due to any contravention to the provisions of the present law and laws and regulations in vigor, mainly law No 382/94. When any amount of money is deducted from the affidavit value, the company shall submit to the Ministry a new bank affidavit or restore the present affidavit within one week at the latest, as of the date it was informed of the decision of deduction under the risk of losing de facto its leasing right.

The Minister of Information is entrusted with the implementation of the clauses of § 4 above. In case of a contravention, the Council of Ministers has the right, upon the Minister of Information’s proposal, to prevent immediately the company from broadcasting for a maximum of one month. The company is not entitled in this case to any indemnity.

Article 4:

By a decree issued by the Council of Ministers upon the Minister of Information’s proposal or Ministers of Information and Foreign Affairs’ proposal, the company may be sued or prevented from using the channel(s). The leasing contract may be terminated for reasons and requirements related to the state’s high interests. The company shall not be entitled to any compensation when the judicial ruling is issued, except for the value of the due leasing fee, related to the period in which the company did not benefit of the leasing.

The leasing may be terminated or ended, totally or partially, for a given period, without leading to any liability or indemnity, in case the company violates the provisions of the present law or the two decrees No 126 and 127, dated 12/6/1959, as well as terms set up by the leasing contract.

Article 5:

The company shall ensure:

1- Telecommunications (Micro wave) necessary to link its station to the Ministry’s terrestrial station.

2- Needed equipments for the up linking and down linking so that programs are broadcast and received through the terrestrial station’s antenna. Telecommunications and equipments mentioned in clauses 1 and 2 above shall meet the following conditions:

a- Conditions and specifications specified by the Ministry of PTT.

b- Conditions and specifications defined in the CCTIT and the CCIR recommendations.

c- Their use shall not lead to any jamming or interference on other telecommunications means.

d- The said company shall, on a 24/24h continuous basis, undertake to maintain these equipments and telecommunications at its own expenses.

Article 6: Leasing duration

1- The channel(s) broadcasting and receiving the sound and image is/are leased for a three-year period. It/they may work 24 hours per day, provided that it/they work a minimum of 12 hours per day.

2- In exceptional cases estimated by the Ministry of PTT, the channels may be leased for a short period of time, mainly to international news agencies, so that they can broadcast to their main headquarters (Up linking).

The terms and conditions of such a leasing are defined in a decision taken by the Minister of PTT, in conformity with provisions related to the definition of PTT services and other services provided for in the telecommunications field.

 Article 7: Due Leasing Fees

The fees of leasing channels are due at the beginning of each year. The year is calculated on the basis of 12 months, each month consisting of 30 days. In case the leasing starts during the year, the due leasing fees for the rest of the first year are calculated on the basis of the annual leasing fees, as of the following day of the date the channel(s) is/are put at the company’s disposal.

Article 8: Leasing Fees and Rentals

The leasing of broadcasting and receiving channels stated in the present law is done according to the following fees and rentals:

1- Fees of the file constitution- 1 million LP.

This fee is due when the file is submitted. Special Drawing Rights (DTS)

2- Establishment fees for each channel- 400.000 LP. This fee is due after the leasing decree is issued and after the leasing contract is signed between the Ministry and the company.

3- Rentals for the monthly use of the broadcasting channel- (DTS):

– For the first channel- 75.000 LP.

– For the second channel- 50.000 LP.

– For each channel following the second- 40.000 LP.

When using the digital signal technology, the rentals stipulated by clauses 3-a, 3-b and 3-c, are doubled.

4- Rentals of yearly use:

– For telecommunication linking the company’s station to the terrestrial station: DTS- For each channel of sound and image- 60.000 LP.

– A yearly lump sum tariff to host and feed the company equipments container, located at the terrestrial station: DTS- 5.000 LP.

Article 9: Fees And Rentals Calculations

Fees and rentals stated in Article 9 above are paid in Lebanese Pounds, calculated according to the average price of the Special Drawings Rights, issued by the central Bank on the date of the cash payment voucher.

Article 10

All texts that are contrary to the provisions of the present law or that are in contradiction with them, except for the law No 382/94 are null.

This law does not govern the TV encoded broadcasting, the fees and licensing terms of which are governed by a special law.

Article 11

When necessary, the minutes of the enforcement of the present law are defined by decrees issued by the Council of Ministers.

Article 12

The present law enters into force as soon as it is published in the official gazette.

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