25 December 2018

The Regulation on The Procedures and Principles of Terrestrial Broadcast License and the Sorting Tender (“Regulation”) has been issued by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (“RTUK”) and published in the Official Gazette dated 23 December 2018, numbered 30634 and entered into force on the same date. The Regulation covers the broadcasting services which are, within the frame of national and international standards, aimed at public and carried out via frequency bands allocated to radio and televisions broadcastings through terrestrial environment. The Regulation sets forth the principles and procedures for the implementation of frequency plans and the sorting tender (“Tender”) to be made for the issuance of terrestrial broadcast license

According to the Regulation, two commissions will be established by RTUK, one as the Tender Commission and the other as the Specification Preparatory Commission. The Tender Commission may decide not to carry out the Tender at its own discretion by indicating the reason thereof.

You may find below a brief summary on the prominent headings and topics concerning the Regulation:

1. Tender

Pursuant to Article 7 of the Regulation, the Tender shall be conducted by an open tender procedure by receiving a separate bid for each broadcast license type and technique on the basis of minimum broadcast license fee and according to the results of the Tender, radio frequency and/or multiplex capacity allocation shall be provided to the institutions that will receive the license for terrestrial broadcasting.

The institutions participating in the tender and bidding shall be sorted on the basis of the latest bid that they offered. According to such sorting, the relevant institutions shall be provided with the priority of selecting the order in the receiving devices.

2. Announcement of the Tender

As per Article 8 of the Regulation, the announcement of the Tender shall be published for once in the Official Gazette at least 70 (seventy) days before the Tender date and shall also be announced on RTUK’s website, which shall be deemed as notification.

3. Tender Specifications

The Tender specifications and its annexes shall be prepared by Specification Preparatory Commission and shall be finalized upon RTUK’s approval. Pursuant to Article 10 of the Regulation, it is mandatory to include the following (as a minimum) in the tender specifications in addition to the conditions to be determined based on the nature of the license to be issued:

  • Number, type and technique of broadcast licenses and license period;
  • The minimum broadcast license fees, the amount of the tender guarantee and the performance guarantee along with the conditions regarding the guarantee;
  • Procedure, date, time and location of the Tender;
  • Requirements regarding bidders and required documents;
  • RTUK shall be free to carry out the Tender or not;
  • RTUK may approve or cancel its decision on the Tender within 10 (ten) business days at the latest following the decision date;
  • The principles and procedures to be applied until the issuance of a broadcasting license from the date of the decision on the Tender;
  • Information regarding the payment of taxes, duties and charges and other expenses;
  • The procedures and principles that must be applied while receiving, opening and evaluating the bids;
  • The methods of requesting an explanation and execution related to the Tender specifications.
4. Application for the Tender

Media service providers which have been established as radio or/and television broadcasting companies and have been carrying out radio or/ and television broadcasting activities for at least 1 (one) year as of the date of the Tender and meeting the preconditions stated in tender specifications may apply for the Tender.

Separately for television and radio broadcasting, the institutions may to apply to tenders for national, regional and local broadcasting license types and they can only obtain a license for one of the license types.

The tenders shall be held in the order of national, regional and local licenses and the institution that cannot secure the tender will be able to participate in the next tenders. On the other hand, the institutions that have secured the tender will not be able to participate in the next tender under no circumstances.

In the event that the capacity is allocated for different broadcasting techniques with the same license type by the RTUK, separate tenders may be held for each technique. Hence, an institution may apply for more than one tender for different techniques with a license type.

5. The Information and Documents Requested for the Tender Application

Pursuant to Article 13 of the Regulation, media service providers are obligated to provide various information and documentation in their tender application including, briefly, the following: (i) broadcast license application form regarding the shareholding and company structure of the bidder; (ii) document evidencing that the tender guarantee in the amount of 10% of the minimum broadcasting license fee depending on the license type, has been paid; (iii) certified public accountant report showing that the minimum paid-in capital of the bidder has been paid; and (iv) articles of association of the bidder.

In addition, the other information and documents which are lacking according to RTUK records shall be completed by the relevant institutions during the licensing phase.

6. Guarantees

As stated above, bidders shall pay a tender guarantee of 10% of the minimum broadcast license fee depending on the license type. In the event that the bidding media service provider cannot secure the tender or participate in the tender, the tender guarantee shall be returned to the media service provider upon their request.

As per Article 25 of the Regulation, the institution that secures the tender shall pay 25% of the tender price as performance guarantee. Otherwise, they will be deemed to have waived their right to obtain license and multiplex allocation.

7. Allocation and Thereafter

The duration of the granted broadcast license shall be 10 (ten) years. According to the Regulation, the broadcast license fee shall be determined by RTUK based on the population covered, license type and technique. Institutions that have obtained a terrestrial broadcast license are required to switch to broadcasting from all the multiplex capacity or frequencies allocated to them at the very latest within 2 (two) years, otherwise RTUK may cancel their license.

The broadcast license fee obtained through sorting shall be paid in 10 (ten) annual installments with each payment due on the end of February; provided that the first installment is paid before the license certificate is issued. In addition, media service providers shall also pay a usage fee for the frequency and multiplex capacity, which will be calculated according to the method described in the Regulation.

Should you have any queries on the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.