The idea of small multiplexer set up by the regional channels is supported by the TV stations as well, but it would require a change in the current legislation, an option which does not feature on the horizon.
Lacking applicants for the private multiplexer, the government sticked to a public one, which started operating from July 1st 2015 and allows the licensed regional TV stations to broadcast.
The other issue is related to the 12 regional TV channels, in private ownership, which in 2010 were revoked their license to broadcast.
Lori region used to have four TV stations, but only Fortuna TV, a channel owned by Karen Karapetyan, an MP for the ruling Republican Party, received in 2010 the the right to broadcast in the marz. Avetisyan maintains there was a political motif.
Since 2011 Fortuna TV is available across the marz, offering a mix of programs produced in-house as well as Armenian soap operas and talk shows created by national broadcasters. Karen Arshakyan, Fortuna’s director, did not respond to queries for this article - as seven years have passed since the channel was granted the license he declined to comment on the issue.
Analogue broadcasting remains available to consumers with cable TV, which is a paid service, hence less common. Two companies, Ucom and Rostelecom, provide cable broadcasting in Vanadzor and, according to Avetisyan, they took out Lori TV from their packages despite a prior agreement.
Lori TV have teamed up other regional TV companies in a similar position and fought for their right to be on-air with the Committee of Defense of Freedom of Speech, the Yerevan Press Club, and the Media Initiatives Center. With the support from Edmon Marukyan, a formerly independent MP from Lori region recently elected in the list of the Yelk Alliance, they proposed to introduce changes to the bill to save the regional channels, but received neither an answer nor any feedback on their requests.