Audiovisual Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan



What is audiovisual media?

Audiovisual media is the media that provides the user with television and radio broadcasting, as well as with on-demand media services through various technical tools and means in audio and/or visual form.


How is audiovisual media regulated?

Unlike other types of media (print, online), audiovisual media is a licensed field. The regulation of audiovisual media is based on the following legal framework:

The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

The Laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan:

  • "On Media";
  • "On Public Television and Radio Broadcasting";
  • "On Advertising";
  • "On Protection of Children from Harmful Information";
  • "On License and Permissions";
  • "On State Fees",

The Code on Administrative Offences,

The Election Code and other normative-legal acts.


What are audiovisual media entities?

Audiovisual media entities are broadcasters, who have editorial responsibility for the media content they broadcast, and operators, who do not have editorial responsibility for the media content they retransmit.

Broadcasters are:

  • Nationwide terrestrial television broadcasters;
  • Nationwide terrestrial radio broadcasters;
  • Regional terrestrial television broadcasters;
  • Regional terrestrial radio broadcasters;
  • Platform broadcasters performing satellite transmission;
  • Platform broadcasters not performing satellite transmission;
  • On-demand media service providers.

Operators are:

  • Simple platform operators;
  • Universal platform operators;
  • Multiplex operators.


What are the duties of the Audiovisual Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan?

The Audiovisual Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan (hereinafter: the Council) is an independent body that carries out regulation in the field of audiovisual media. The main duties and functions of the Council are as follows:

  • making proposals in the field of audiovisual media;
  • adopting of normative acts;
  • issuing licenses for audiovisual media entities;
  • adopting decisions that are binding on audiovisual media entities;
  • giving consent to the transmission of the foreign channels via AzerSpace satellites;
  • implementing radio frequency planning;
  • providing technical supervision of the broadcasting;
  • setting of standards for sound and image quality in audiovisual broadcasting;
  • monitoring of audiovisual programs;
  • conducting on-site inspections (if necessary);
  • imposing sanctions on entities that have breached the legislation etc.


What sanctions can be applied to audiovisual media entities?

According to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Media", suspension of broadcasting may be applied against broadcasters. Depending on the offence committed, suspension of broadcasting may be up to 24 hours or 1-30 days. Suspension of broadcasting is applied by the decision of the Council.

In addition, the Council may draw up a protocol in accordance with Article 381 of the Code on Administrative Offences and apply an administrative sanction in court.


How does the Council monitor audiovisual programs?

In accordance with Article 46.1.1 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Media," the Council regulates the field of audiovisual media and monitors compliance with existing regulatory legal acts and monitors audiovisual programs for this purpose. Monitoring is carried out by the Department for Monitoring and Analysis of Audiovisual Programs of the Council’s Office in the following ways:

  • Direct monitoring of audiovisual programs conducted by department employees, identification and registration of facts of violation of legal requirements;
  • Verification of citizens' appeals (phone calls, letter, e-mail, e-appeal, etc.);
  • Verification of materials on online resources and social networks related to the field of audiovisual media, with the possibility of violation of laws.

As a result of the monitoring, statement (if necessary, with a legal opinion issued by the Department of Law and International Cooperation) on the identified fact of violation of law are submitted to the management.

On the basis of the monitoring conducted, as well as the identified facts of violation of legislation, studies and analytical materials of various focus and content are being prepared.


Are there any legal requirements for the appearance or clothing of the of program presenters, as well as for the way they speak?

According to Article 5.4 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Media", media activities are based on creative and editorial independence. This means that the audiovisual media entities (or their editorial offices), when creating or ordering a programme on any topics, are free to determine their activities in accordance with the principles of professional independence, as well as the presenters, guests or other persons participating in the programme, as regards the choice of clothing. The law does not impose any restrictions on the appearance and clothing of presenters.

According to Article 14.1.3 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Media", the norms of the state language shall be respected in broadcasting.


How can I send appeals or complaints to the Council?

Appeals and complaints to the Council can be sent via its official website by entering the “Apply” section or to the official e-mail address of the Council ( or to the official address (Baku City, AZ1138, Sharifzade street 315), as well as by phone.


Is it possible to suspend the broadcasting of a program or close a program completely on the basis of a complaint?

In the case of complaint, the program will be controlled by the management. The necessary structural units will be assigned tasks, including those related to monitoring.

If the investigation reveals a violation of legal requirements, the broadcaster may be subject to a sanction in accordance with the requirement of Article 41 of the Law of Republic of Azerbaijan “On Media” to suspend broadcasting and / or an administrative sanction under the Code of Administrative Offences.


How are internet TV or radio channels regulated?

Audiovisual media entities established in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan in accordance with the requirements of the legislation and identified as media entities and licensed by the Council are included in the sphere of regulation of the Council. Television or radio channels broadcast directly over the internet fall within the scope of the Council's regulation if they are granted a platform broadcaster's license under specified conditions. In other cases, the regulation of internet television and radio channels is beyond the powers of the Council.


Who determines the retransmitted channels by operators and their number?

Operators choose the TV and radio channels they retransmit according to their preferences and commercial objectives. The channels of the nationwide terrestrial broadcasters (which are in free-to-air mode) must be retransmitted in the operators' basic packages.


How is broadcasting of foreign TV channels in our country regulated?

In our country, no foreign television channel is broadcast in terrestrial broadcasting (using national radiofrequency resources). Foreign TV channels are retransmitted in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan by operators (multiplex and platform operators), as well as by the national satellite operator of Azerbaijan ("Azerkosmos") for commercial purposes. The operators are not editorially responsible for the content of retransmitted foreign channels. Operators should submit to the Council only copies of documents (agreements, permits, licenses, etc.) giving the right to retransmit these channels on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.


On various websites, even some social networks, it is possible to find offers to watch foreign channels. Are these sites legal?

Unfortunately, the development of information and communication technologies has not only created great opportunities for licensed operators, but has also resulted in certain opportunities in the market for websites or internet resources that create unhealthy competition in the field of activities of these operators, which are not considered legal. In contrast to legally operating platform operators, these websites or internet resources carry out the retransmission (sale) of programs of foreign audiovisual broadcasters and are of "unknown origin", providing their services on the territory of the country without obtaining a license, registering as a business entity or paying the relevant taxes, for a certain monthly fee and without concluding the necessary copyright agreements (in most cases, these fees are significantly lower than the prices offered by legally operating operators with a license). The number of TV channels in the packages they offer is almost 1000, and sometimes there are TV channels among them that seriously damage to the state interests of Azerbaijan. In order to prevent such unpleasant situations, a certain action plan has been developed by the Council and appropriate measures are currently being taken together with other state structures.


When the meetings of the Council are held? Is it possible for media representatives to attend these meetings?

The meetings of the Council are held in order to resolve the issues on the agenda. The meetings are organized in closed format. However, the Council publishes its decisions on its official website.


Who determines and how is the content of advertising broadcast on TV and radio channels regulated?

Advertisements broadcast on television and radio channels are regulated by the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Media" and the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Advertising". The content of advertisements must not contradict these or other laws. The monitoring conducted by the Department of monitoring and analysis of audiovisual programs of the office of the Council covers all programs, including broadcast advertisement materials. The content of advertisements broadcast on television and radio channels is determined by the entities involved in advertising (advertiser, advertising creator, advertising producer, advertising agent, and advertising distributor).


In what cases may the license issued to an audiovisual media entity be revoked?

This is regulated in accordance with Article 58 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Mass Media". A license is revoked in the following cases:

  • when a relevant application is submitted by the license holder;
  • in case of non-compliance with the requirements of Article 26 of this Law;
  • in case of termination of the activity of the natural person holding the license as a sole proprietor, and liquidation of the legal person;
  • if there is a relevant court decision;
  • if the bankruptcy of the license holder is confirmed by an effective court decision;
  • if false information is revealed later on in the documents submitted for obtaining a license;
  • if the circumstances specified in Articles 57.1.2 and 57.1.3 of this Law are not eliminated in accordance with Article 57.3 of this Law;
  • if the type of activity specified in the license is excluded from the list of activities for which a license is required;
  • if broadcasting is not carried out within six months after obtaining a license;
  • in case of non-compliance with the territorial category of the licensed type of activity;
  • in cases specified in Article 41.2 of this Law, if broadcasting is not carried out for 30 (thirty) consecutive days or 60 (sixty) days in a year, except the cases when broadcasting is suspended by the decision of the Council;
  • if the license holder is held administratively liable in the field of audiovisual broadcasting at least five times during a year.