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SUVA. Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 24) – The Fiji Government is developing a criteria to consider new applications for free-to-air television services in the country.

Information, Communications and Media Relations Minister, Marieta Rigamoto said the Government was actively pursuing the deregulation of television service provision in Fiji.

Rigamoto said this had been partly achieved through the issue of the new Pay TV or subscription television licence to Western Broadcasting Company.

"A number of other applications are also being considered according to pre-determined criteria and will be dealt with substantively at Cabinet level," she said. "As far as free-to-air service television is concerned, the Government will welcome competition to the Fiji One channel currently provided by Fiji Television Limited. The Government is therefore developing a criterion against which to consider new free-to-air television services. This criterion will hopefully introduce a level playing field which considers all interests, including those of Fiji TV Limited, in a fair and transparent manner."

Ms. Rigamoto said a number of interests had already been expressed with regard to additional free-to-air operations and these would be considered accordingly.

"As for Fijian language television, the Government through the Ministry of Information, Communications and Media Relations, is planning to broadcast Fijian language programs as part of its program mix for limited daily broadcasts as a community television service," she said.

November 25, 2005

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