Maestro TV’s regular news bulletin at 3pm was not aired on Friday, instead the Tbilisi-based TV channel showed live footage of its journalists and staff standing outside the Parliament building, who were protesting against the authorities’ decision to impound satellite dish antennas.
Thousands of satellite dishes, intended by the Maestro TV to be handed out in the provinces, were impounded after the chief prosecutor’s office said it had “sufficient evidence” to prove that Maestro TV was in “sham deal” with Bidzina Ivanishvili-affiliated companies with a purpose to “bribe voters”.
“Citizens have the right to know, to receive information and to listen to diverse opinions,” says Maestro TV journalists’ statement, read out at the rally. “We have been following all these principles on the daily basis and we want it to be carried to viewers without any restriction.”
Maestro TV, which is available through some cable providers mainly in Tbilisi and also via satellite, said it aimed to hand out satellite dishes for “a minimal fee” with a purpose to broaden scope of its audience.