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RAROTONGA (June 29, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS) ---Overseas broadcasters are expected to enter the Cook Islands television market soon, offering multiple channels of free on-air and closed-circuit pay-TV program services.

Cook Islands Minister of Broadcasting, Tepure Tapaitau, says the government is likely to look favorably on a buyer of the Cooks existing TV station. In return for continuing the on-air service, adds Tapaitau, the successful applicant is likely to be awarded a license to provide pay-TV services to the Cook Islands as well.

Assisting any new TV broadcaster in the Cooks regarding programming will be a yet-to-be-established Program Advisory Committee, which is authorized by the Cook Islands Broadcasting Act. The Committee members will ensure that there is a balance of educational, informational, and entertainment TV programming that is sensitive to Cook Islands community standards.

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