Politics banned on Georgian channel

Maestro TV forced to drop three programs

MOSCOW — A small TV entertainment channel in Georgia has pulled three political shows after the national broadcasting council denied it a news license.

Maestro TV, a Tbilisi-based cable channel that also airs via terrestrial channels, has a license for music and entertainment programming but late last year launched three politically-oriented shows during a time of social unrest ahead of a snap presidential election.

The shows, for which the station applied for a license, were a mixture of studio call-in and chat shows and news footage screened without comment.

Mamuka Glonti, station chief, told Georgian wire agency civil.ge that the Georgian National Communications Commission had ordered the three shows off air after months of negotiations over a new license came to nothing.

Glonti said the station would appeal, warning that if nothing changed, “we will have a reason to start speaking about (restricting) freedom of speech in respect of Maestro TV.”

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