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Georgian broadcaster loses Eutelsat court case

The Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) has lost a trial against satellite operator Eutelsat, according to reports.

A Paris-based court rejected GPB’s demand for Eutelsat to restore its Russian-language First Caucasian Channel back on the W7 satellite, which operates at 36° East. GPB’s request for remuneration for loss of income was also denied.

The channel was removed from W7 in January and since then has only been available for viewers in Tbilisi through cable networks and on the internet. In early June it stopped broadcasting completely and is now available only on the internet. The GPB claimed Eutelsat’s decision was politically motivated after the operator signed a lucrative deal with Russian operator Intersputnik. The court disagreed and ordered GPB to pay costs.

The GPB said it was disappointed with the decision and was deciding whether to appeal.