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Fiji TV Wants Exclusive Licence Extended

SUVA: Moves are underway to extend Fiji Television's exclusive licence for another four years, reports the Daily Post.

Fiji Television's exclusive licence expires in January next year, sparking a frenzy among those interested in the visual/audio business both locally and internationally.

But Yasana Holdings Ltd chairman Olota Rokovunesei was optimistic yesterday that the interim administration would extend Fiji Television's exclusive licence until 2004.

Yasana Holdings is the parent company which owns 51 percent of shares in Fiji Television.

The company is owned by the 14 provincial councils in Fiji and it took over five million $1 shares held in trust by the Fiji Development Bank in March this year.

Rokovunesei said in an interview with the Ministry for Fijian Affairs yesterday that Yasana Holdings had written to the interim administration seeking an extension to Fiji Television's exclusive licence for another four years.

"It must be remembered that Fiji Television was originally given a 12-year exclusive licence by the Rabuka government when [the company] was established in 1993," Rokovunisei said.

"But this was reduced to only eight years when the Chaudhry government came into power last year.

"As a result, Fiji Television's exclusive licence will expire in January," Rokovunesei said.

He said Fiji Television had just begun to make money with its dividend declared this year.

"To open up the market now would jeopardise the company's operations," he said.

* The Daily Post did not carry any comment from Fiji Television. However, two news reports broadcast by the television station last week highlighted potential bidders for a competive licence, including the state-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.

+++niuswire

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