Radio Law (Law no. 54/2010)
ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC
Law no. 54/2010
of 24 December 2010
(Amended by Law no 38/2014, of 9 July)
Approves the Radio Law, repealing Law no. 4/2001, of 23 February
Pursuant to paragraph c) of article 161 of the Constitution, the Assembly of the Republic hereby decrees the following:
The object of this law is to regulate access to and pursuit of radio broadcasting activity in the national territory.
1 - For the purposes of this law, the following definitions shall apply:
a) «Radio broadcasting activity» shall mean the activity pursued by legal persons consisting in the organisation and supply, on a continuing basis, of radio programme services, for the purpose of their broadcasting to the general public;
b) «Control» shall mean the relationship between a natural or legal person and an undertaking where, regardless of whether the permanent address or registered office is situated in Portugal or abroad, the former holds a dominant influence over the latter, either directly or indirectly, and under any circumstances control shall be considered to occur when a natural or legal person:
i. holds a majority of the undertaking’s share capital or voting rights;
ii. controls a majority of the voting rights under the terms of the shareholders’ agreement or;
iii. is entitled to appoint or dismiss the majority of the members of the management boards or supervisory bodies;
c) «Chain broadcasting» shall mean the simultaneous or deferred broadcasting, either full or partial, of programmes of the same programme service by more than one broadcaster holding a license or authorisation for the pursuit of radio broadcasting activity;
d) «Qualification» shall mean the legal title that is indispensable in order to pursue radio broadcasting activity, conferred by a legislative act, license, authorisation or concession;
e) «Radio broadcaster» shall mean the entity responsible for the organisation and supply of radio programme services, on a continuing basis, holding a legal qualification for pursuit of radio broadcasting activity;
f) «Sponsorship» shall mean the contribution granted by natural or legal persons, either public or private, other than radio broadcasters or producers of radio works, to finance radio programme services, or the individual programmes included within these services, for the purpose of promoting their name, brand, image, activities or products;
g) «Own programming» shall mean programmes composed by items that have been selected, organized and broadcast autonomously by the radio broadcaster in charge of the respective programme service, of relevance to the audience of the corresponding geographical coverage area, in particular in social, economic, scientific and cultural terms;
h) «Radio» shall mean the unilateral broadcasting of audio communications, via an electronic communications network, intended for simultaneous reception by the general public;
i) «Programme service» shall mean the sequential and uniform set of programming items provided by a radio broadcaster.
2 - Paragraph h) of the previous point shall not apply:
a) To one-off audio communication broadcasts, using technical devices installed close to places where the related events are held, and that are targeted at the public gathered there;
b) To broadcasts of audio communications within buildings or other enclosed areas, insofar as the use of terrestrial spectrum intended for radio broadcasting is not involved, as specified in the National Frequency Allocation Plan;
3 - Paragraph g) of no. 1 shall not apply to advertising or to merely repetitive broadcasts.
Transparency of ownership and management
1 - Shares representing the capital of radio broadcasters constituted in the form of a public limited company (sociedade anónima) must be registered shares.
2 - The list of shareholders of radio broadcasters, the composition of their administrative and management bodies and identification of the person in charge of providing guidance to and monitoring the broadcasting content shall be publicly disclosed in the website of the respective media bodies, and updated within seven days after the occurrence of an event where:
a) A shareholder reaches or exceeds 5%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% or 50% of the share capital or voting rights;
b) A shareholder reduces its shareholding to an amount lower than each of the percentages indicated in the preceding paragraph;
c) There is a change in the control of the radio broadcaster;
d) A change occurs in the composition of the administrative and management bodies or in the chain of responsibility for providing guidance to and monitoring the broadcasting content.
3 - The list referred to in the previous point shall include, and be duly updated:
a) Itemisation of the shareholding percentages broken down by the respective shareholders;
b) Identification of the full chain of entities with a shareholding of at least 5% of the capital of the broadcasters under consideration; and
c) Indication of the shareholdings of these shareholders in other media bodies.
4 - In the absence of its own website, the respective radio broadcaster shall notify, on a complementary basis, the information and updates referred to in nos. 2 and 3 to the Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social (ERC - Regulatory Authority for the Media), which shall provide such data in its own public website.
5 – The provisions established in nos. 2, 3 and 4 shall apply, duly adapted, to legal persons which do not have the legal form of a company and which pursue radio broadcasting activity, specifically associations, cooperatives or foundations.
Competition, non-concentration and pluralism
1 - The general regime governing the protection and promotion of competition shall apply to radio broadcasters.
2 – Concentration operations between radio broadcasters subject to the intervention of the Competition Authority shall be submitted to a prior opinion from ERC, which is only binding if there is a well-founded risk to both the freedom of expression and the presentation of different opinions.
3 - No natural or legal person shall hold, either directly or indirectly, specifically though a controlling relationship, a number of licenses for local radio programme services exceeding 10% of all the licenses granted in the national territory.
4 – No natural or legal person of the private sector or cooperative sector shall hold, either directly or indirectly, specifically though a controlling relationship, a number of frequency modulation (FM) radio programme services on a national level equal to or exceeding 50% of the programme services entitled to broadcast for the same coverage area and for the same frequency band.
5 - No natural or legal person shall hold in the same district, metropolitan area, municipality, or, in the autonomous regions, in the same island, either directly or indirectly, specifically via a controlling relationship, a number of licenses for a local radio programme service exceeding 50% of programme services of the same scope entitled to broadcast for each of the referred territorial areas.
6 - Any change in the controlling relationship of broadcasters pursuing a licensed radio broadcasting activity may only take place three years after the original license has been issued, two years after the approved project is altered or one year after the last renewal, and is subject to authorisation from ERC.
7 - ERC shall take a decision on the authorisation application referred to in the previous point, after hearing the parties concerned, within 30 working days, following appraisal and consideration of the initial conditions on which basis the qualification was granted and the interests of the potential audience of the programme services provided, safeguarding the conditions that permitted the original project, or subsequent alterations, to be decided on.
8 -The previous points shall apply, duly adapted, to legal persons other than companies which pursue radio broadcasting activity, specifically associations, cooperatives or foundations, wherein it is incumbent on ERC, insofar as the conditions for the operation are satisfied, to promote the respective amendments to the qualifying document for pursuit of the activity.
9 - The assignment of local radio programme services and of the respective licenses or authorisations shall be permitted, according to the procedures specified for the alteration of control of the broadcasters, where it can be proved that this will help safeguard the licensed or authorised project, and provided that there is assignment of all the property, rights and obligations, including those which are labour-related, exclusively allocated to the programme service in question.
10 - Without prejudice to the powers granted to the national communications regulatory authority according to the regime applicable to electronic communications networks and services and to radiocommunications, the assignment referred to in the previous point is dependent upon authorisation from ERC, which shall take its decision within 60 days after the application.
The State shall guarantee the existence and operation of a public radio broadcasting service, under a concession regime, under the terms of chapter IV.
Principle of cooperation
1 - The State, the concessionaire of the public radio broadcasting service and other radio broadcasters shall collaborate in pursuit of the values of human dignity, the rule of law, democratic society and national cohesion, and promotion of the Portuguese language and culture.
2 - ERC shall promote and encourage the adoption of co-regulations, self-regulations and cooperation mechanisms between the various radio broadcasters to achieve the objectives referred to in the previous point.
1 - Coverage by radio programme services may be on an international, national, regional or local level, according to whether they are intended to cover, respectively:
a) Predominantly the territory of other countries;
b) The national territory in general;
c) A district or a group of neighbouring districts or a metropolitan area in the Portuguese mainland, or a group of islands, in the Autonomous Regions;
d) A municipality or a group of neighbouring municipalities and any adjacent areas, according to the necessary technical coverage requirements, in the Portuguese mainland, or an island with several municipalities, in the Autonomous Regions.
2 - The geographic area allocated to each programme service on a national level shall be covered by the same programme and recommended signal, unless otherwise authorised by a determination of ERC, without prejudice to the use of additional coverage resources, where duly authorised.
3 – The determination referred to in the previous point shall establish the hourly limit of broadcast interruptions, up to the maximum of two hours per day, which may be extended, under the terms specified therein, to up to six hours per day in exceptional and duly substantiated situations.
4 - The classification of the programme services as far as the coverage area is concerned shall be stipulated by ERC in the license or authorisation document, without prejudice to the subsequent amendment of the latter, under the terms specified in article 26 hereof.
Types of radio programme services
1 - Programme services may be generalist or thematic, and in the latter case shall be classified in accordance with the programme service’s predominant characteristic or audience segment to which it is targeted.
2 - Generalist programme services are deemed to be those that present a varied programming aimed at the general public, including a news information component.
3 - Thematic programme services shall be deemed to be those that present a programming model focusing predominantly on specific radio matters or genres, such as music, news information or other, or that are intended for specific audience segments.
4 - ERC shall be responsible for classification of programme services in function of type of programming content and this will be established in the license or authorisation document, without prejudice to the subsequent amendment of the latter at the request of interested parties, under the terms of article 26 hereof.
Academic programme services
1 - Frequencies reserved within the National Frequency Allocation Plan for the pursuit of local radio broadcasting activity may be used for the provision of programme services focused on persons attending higher education, by means of a joint ministerial order issued by the members of the Government responsible for the media, communications and higher education.
2 - The ministerial order referred to in the previous point shall launch a public tender, which will only be open to bodies owned by higher education institutions and student associations of the geographic area corresponding to the frequencies to be allocated, and shall include the respective regulations.
3 - In case it is necessary to select the bids submitted to the same tender, ERC shall take into account, for the purpose of ranking the bids, the diversity and creativity of each project, the promotion of experimentalism and formation of new values, the capacity to contribute towards discussion of ideas and knowledge, as well as the fostering of closer relations between academic life and the local population, and also the institutional cooperation achieved by the subscribers to the project.
4 – The programme services referred to in this article shall not include any form of advertising or sponsorship, although they may have recourse to institutional advertising related to bodies that pursue interests in the areas of education, research and higher education.
5 – The programme services licensed under the terms of this article shall not be covered by article 38 and may only broadcast in-house programming, and for all other purposes the provisions in this law governing thematic local radio programme services shall apply thereto.
Association of programme services
1 - Thematic programme services of the same type and the same specific model, when broadcast from different districts or non-neighbouring municipalities, may associate together, for the purposes of shared production and simultaneous broadcasting of programmes.
2 - The chain broadcasting specified in the previous point shall not exceed six programme services in the Portuguese mainland, or eight programme services in the Autonomous Regions.
3 - The association of programme services established under the terms of this article shall be identified on air under the same name.
Partnerships of programme services
1 - Programme services on a local or regional level may chain-broadcast programmes from other programme services of the same type.
2 - Local radio programme services that are included within a chain, pursuant to the previous point, shall broadcast at least eight hours of in-house programming, which may be divided into a maximum of 6 broadcasting blocks, between 7 a.m. and 12 midnight, under the terms of no. 3 of article 32.
3 - The partnerships specified in this article shall apply no. 3 of the previous point, without prejudice to compliance with paragraph g) of no. 2 of article 32 during the time when the programme services’ in-house programming are broadcast.
Purposes of radio broadcasting activity
1 - The following shall be deemed to be the purposes of radio broadcasting activity, according to the nature, object and coverage area of the radio programme services provided:
a) To contribute towards information, education and entertainment for the general public;
b) To promote the right to inform and to be informed, accurately and independently, without impediments or discrimination;
c) To promote citizenship and democratic participation and uphold political, social and cultural pluralism;
d) To spread and promote the Portuguese culture and language, as well as values that express national identity;
e) To contribute towards the production and broadcasting of programming, including news programming, aimed at the audience of the respective coverage area.
1 - The State shall organize a system of incentives for local radio broadcasting activity, which shall be specified in a specific law, in order to ensure the possibility of expression and exchange of different currents of public opinion.
2 - The allocation of the incentives and support specified in the previous point shall abide by the principles of publicity, objectivity, non-discrimination and proportionality, and otherwise shall not be deemed to be valid.
1 - The technical conditions under which radio broadcasting activity may be pursued and the fees for the allocation of broadcasting rights or use of broadcasting resources shall be specified in applicable electronic communications legislation.
2 – The legislation referred to in the previous point shall specify the procedures according to which, where improvement of the technical quality of the coverage of the licensed programme services is required, it will be possible to request the use of relay stations and location of the respective broadcasting station outside the municipalities for which the license has been granted.
Access to broadcasting activity
1 - Radio broadcasting activity, consisting in the organisation of generalist or thematic information programme services on an international, national or regional level shall only be pursued, under this law, by legal undertakings whose main corporate object is to perform such activity.
2 - Radio broadcasting activity, consisting in the organisation of generalist or thematic information local radio programme services shall only be pursued, under this law, by legal undertakings whose main corporate object is to perform media activities.
3 - The terms established in the previous points shall not apply to associations or foundations pursuing humanitarian, educational, cultural, scientific or student-related objectives, where the respective programme services significantly contribute to enhancing such activities.
4 – Long-wave and short-wave radio broadcasting activity shall only be pursued by the concessionaire of the public radio broadcasting service, without prejudice to pursuit of such activity by other broadcasters legally qualified for the purpose on the date on which this law enters into force.
1 - Radio broadcasting activity shall not be pursued or financed, either directly or indirectly, by political parties or associations, trade unions, employer organisations or professional organisations, or professional public associations, unless such activity is exclusively performed via the Internet and consists of the organisation of doctrinal, institutional or scientific programme services.
2 - Without prejudice to the terms of article 5, radio broadcasting activity shall not be pursued by the State, Autonomous Regions, local authorities or their associations, either directly or via public institutes, state or regional public companies, municipal, inter-municipal or metropolitan companies, unless such activity is exclusively performed via the Internet and consists of the organisation of institutional or scientific programme services.
Types of access
1 - Access to radio broadcasting activity shall be conditional upon the issue of a licence, by means of public tender, or an authorisation, in function of whether or not the programme services to be provided will use the terrestrial spectrum, under the National Frequency Allocation Plan, while safeguarding rights that have been previously acquired by duly qualified broadcasters.
2 - Broadcast licenses or authorisations shall be granted on an individual basis, according to the number of programme services to be provided by each broadcaster.
3 - Radio broadcasting activity consisting in the broadcast of programme services exclusively via the Internet does not require a prior qualification, and instead is only subject to registration, pursuant to article 24.
4 - The broadcasting of new programme services by the concessionaire of the public service shall be authorised by a ministerial order issued by the member of Government responsible for the media area or, when the terrestrial spectrum is used, pursuant to the National Frequency Allocation Plan, by a joint ministerial order issued by the aforementioned government member and by the member of Government responsible for the communications area.
The national communications regulatory authority will be responsible for planning the radio spectrum for pursuit of radio broadcasting activity, after having consulted ERC.
1 - The public tender for licensing radio broadcasting activity and for allocation of the corresponding rights of use for frequencies shall be launched by a joint administrative rule, to be issued by the members of the Government responsible for the media and communications areas, which shall include the respective object and regulations.
2 - The regulations shall identify the conditions under which applications are eligible, as well as the documents to be attached, to allow the assessment of the compliance of the applicants and bids with legal and regulatory requirements, specifically:
a) Requirements for broadcasters and restrictions on pursuit of the activity;
b) Rules on pluralism and non-concentration of media ownership;
c) Correspondence between the bids and the object of the tender;
d) Economic and financial feasibility of the bids;
e) Coverage obligations and respective scheduling;
f) Sufficiency of human and technical resources to be assigned;
g) Evidence of compliance with tax and social security obligations, unless exemption from this requirement is granted pursuant to Decree-Law no. 114/2007, of 19 April.
3 – In the case of generalist radio programme services, the bids submitted to tender shall be ranked according to the following criteria:
a) The contribution of each bid towards improvement of the radio broadcasting offer in the area to be covered, which shall be appraised on the basis of guarantees of protection of pluralism, non-concentration and independence from political and economic powers, emphasis granted to news information and safeguarding of the journalists’ constitutionally established rights;
b) The contribution of each bid towards the diversification of the radio broadcasting offer in the area to be covered, which shall be appraised on the basis of its originality, enhancement of innovation and creativity;
c) The contribution of each project towards the dissemination and promotion of Portuguese language, culture and music;
d) The investment in professional training and qualification;
e) The bid’s quality and technical efficiency, which shall be appraised on the basis of the proposed coverage index, the speed of implementation and scheduling of the network, its reliability and the manner in which the broadcasting stations are interconnected.
4 - Where thematic programme services are concerned, the bids submitted to tender shall be ranked according to criteria specified in the previous point, where appropriate.
5 - The criteria specified in paragraph e) of no. 3 shall not apply, for ranking purposes, to the public tender for licensing local radio broadcasting activity.
6 - The regulations shall develop criteria for the ranking of tender bids and assign a relative weight thereto.
7 - Applications to the public tender for radio programme services at a national and regional level shall be assessed by regulatory authorities according to their respective powers.
8 - Bids to the public tender for local radio programme services shall be assessed by ERC.
9 -The regulations shall specify the surety bond and the respective regime for releasing this bond, according to principles of appropriateness and proportionality in regard to compliance with the obligations that are aimed to be safeguarded, taking into account the type and coverage area of the programme services to be licensed.
10 - The tender specifications shall define the conditions for pursuing the broadcasting activity, and shall be available from the date of publication of the administrative rule referred to in no. 1, until the date and time of the corresponding public act of tender, under the terms defined therein.
11 - ERC and the national communications regulatory authority must provide a prior opinion on the tender's object, regulations and specifications, within 20 working days from reception thereof.
12 - After expiry of the deadline referred to in the previous point, the draft administrative rule shall be submitted for public consultation, for a 30-day period, and will be published for this purpose in the websites of the incumbent government departments.
Public tender via digital platforms
The conditions for licensing radio broadcasting activity via digital platforms in which the same radio signal supports various programme services shall be governed by specific legislation.
Applications for authorisation to pursue radio broadcasting activity shall be addressed to ERC, attaching the following elements:
a) The applicant’s articles of association or articles of incorporation and access code to its permanent certificate or an updated company registration certificate;
b) Name, type and description of the programme service to be authorised;
c) Editorial status;
d) Description of the human and technical resources to be assigned to the project;
e) Evidence of the applicant’s compliance with its tax and social security obligations, or permission granted to ERC to consult its tax and social security situation, as specified in the law.
Examination of tenders
1 – The licensing proceedings referred to in no. 7 of article 19 shall be examined by ERC, which shall submit them to the national communications regulatory authority for a decision on the eligibility conditions and ranking criteria for which the latter is competent.
2 – The licensing or authorisation proceedings referred to in no. 8 of article 19 and article 21 shall be examined by ERC, which, for this purpose, shall obtain an opinion from the national communications regulatory authority on the technical conditions of the applications.
3 - The opinion referred to in the previous point has a binding nature and shall be issued within 15 days.
4 - ERC shall notify applicants of any insufficiencies observed in their respective applications, which shall be corrected within the following 15 days.
5 - Applications for award of a license which fail to meet the eligibility conditions specified in the administrative rule that opened the public tender and in the respective regulations shall be rejected by the competent regulatory authorities, by means of a well-substantiated decision.
6 - Applications deemed to be eligible shall be the object of a decision on whether or not to grant the requested qualifying documents within 90 days, in the case of a licensing proceeding is concerned, or 15 days, where an authorisation proceeding is concerned.
7 - Applications for the assignment of licenses, as referred to in no. 9 of article 4 shall be examined by ERC, which shall submit them to the national communications regulatory authority for a decision on the assignment of the respective rights of use for frequencies, according to the regime applicable to electronic communications networks and services and to radiocommunications.
8 – The applications referred to in the previous point shall be the object of a substantiated decision by the competent regulatory authorities, which in ERC's case shall be issued within 45 days from notification of the decision taken by the national communications regulatory authority.
Granting of licenses or authorisations
1 - It is incumbent upon ERC to grant, renew, alter or repeal licenses or authorisations to pursue radio broadcasting activity.
2 - The decisions on whether to grant licenses or authorisations shall be duly substantiated by reference to the fulfilment of eligibility conditions and each of the ranking criteria, as well as to issues raised in a hearing of the parties concerned.
3 - The decision to grant an authorisation may only be rejected by ERC, via a substantiated decision, where the following issues are at stake:
a) Compliance of broadcasters and the respective projects with applicable legal obligations;
b) Technical reliability of the project submitted;
c) Compliance of the applicant with its tax and social security obligations.
4 - The decisions to grant licenses or authorisations shall also specify the binding purposes, obligations and conditions applying to the licensed or authorised broadcasters and respective programme services, and shall be notified to the parties concerned and publicly disclosed via ERC's website.
5 – The qualifying documents for radio broadcasting activity shall include identification of the holder and its registered office, the ranking and name of the respective programme services and the coverage area.
6 - The standard version of the qualifying documents referred to in the previous point shall be approved by ERC.
7 - It is incumbent upon the national communications regulatory authority to grant, renew, alter or repeal the qualifying document that confers rights of use for frequencies for the provision of radio programme services, pursuant to Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, as amended by Decree-Law no. 176/2007, of 8 May, by Law no. 35/2008, of 28 July, and by Decree-Laws number 123/2009, of 21 May, and 258/2009, of 25 September, without prejudice to the licensing regime established in this law.
1 - It is incumbent upon ERC to organize the registration of radio broadcasters as well as of the respective programme services, in order to publicly disclose their ownership, organisation, operation and obligations, and protect their name.
2 - ERC shall diligently undertake the registrations and endorsements that result from its licensing and authorisation activity.
3 - Radio broadcasters must provide ERC with all the elements that are necessary for registration purposes, as well as update them, as defined in Regulatory Decree no. 8/99, of 9 June, as amended by Regulatory Decrees nos. 7/2008, of 27 February, and 2/2009, of 27 January.
4 - The monitoring of legal compliance of the registration elements is governed by procedures specified in ERC's Statutes, approved by Law no. 53/2005, of 8 November.
Start of broadcasts
1 - Radio broadcasters shall start broadcasting their licensed or authorised programme services within six months from the date of the final decision granting the corresponding qualifying document.
2 – In the case of the tender referred to in article 19, and where programme services on a national or regional level are concerned, the coverage obligations and respective schedule shall be specified in the tender regulations.
Compliance with the licensed or authorised project
1 - The radio broadcaster must comply with the conditions and terms of the licensed or authorised programme service.
2 - Any alteration to the project requires express approval from ERC and may only take place:
a) One year after the authorisation has been granted or the respective programme service has been assigned;
b) Two years after the licence has been granted or the respective programme service has been assigned, or after approval of the previous alteration.
3 - The request for alteration shall be justified, taking into account, specifically, the market and technological development and implications for the potential listeners of the programme service under consideration.
4 - ERC shall decide within 60 days from the date of the alteration requesr, taking into account its impact on the radio offer’s diversity and pluralism in the respective geographic area of coverage and the safeguarding of the local news component.
5 - The alteration of licensed or authorised projects may include an alteration to the respective classification of the programming content.
6 - Radio broadcasters with authorised programme services may also request an alteration to the respective classification of the coverage area, pursuant to the previous points.
Term of licences or authorisations
1 - Licences or authorisations to pursue radio broadcasting activity shall be issued for a 15-year-term, and may be subsequently renewed for similar time-periods.
2 - The application for renewal of a license or authorisation shall be submitted to ERC, between 240 and 180 days prior to the expiry of the respective term.
3 - ERC shall decide on the renewal of licenses or authorisations up to 90 days before the expiry of the respective term.
4 - The renewal of licenses or authorisations shall be granted when ERC, in the scope of its continuous regulatory and monitoring activity, has acknowledged the compliance of radio broadcasters and respective programme services with their legal obligations, specifically tax and social security obligations.
Extinction and suspension of licenses or authorisations
1 - Licences or authorisations shall cease to exist on expiry of their term or where they are repealed, under the law.
2 - Licences and authorisations may be suspended in the situations and for the purposes of article 70 and repealed according to article 73.
3 – ERC is responsible for the repeal and suspension of licenses or authorisations.
Freedom of programming and information
Autonomy of broadcasters
1 - The freedom of expression of opinions via radio broadcasting activity forms part of citizens’ fundamental right to free and pluralistic information, that is essential to democracy and to the country’s social and economic development.
2 – Except for the cases specified herein, radio broadcasting activity is based on freedom of programming and neither the Public Administration nor any sovereign body, with the exception of the courts of law, may impede, constrain or oblige the broadcasting of any programmes.
Restrictions to the freedom of programming
1 - Radio programmes shall respect human dignity as well as fundamental rights, freedoms and guarantees.
2 - Radio programme services shall not incite, via the programming elements that they broadcast, racial, religious or political hatred, or hatred based on colour, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability.
3 - Radio broadcasters shall not assign airtime to political propaganda, on any basis, without prejudice to the provisions established in this law on the right to free airtime.
Right to information
1 - Access to locations that are open to the public, for reporting purposes, is governed by the Journalist’s Statute, approved by Law no. 1/99, of 13 January, as amended by Law no. 64/2007, of 6 November.
2 – Radio news coverage of any events shall be subject to legal provisions on copyright and related rights, including provisions on the free use of protected works or services.
3 - Holders of rights arising from the organisation of shows or other public events cannot oppose the radio broadcasting of brief extracts, for the purpose of providing news information on the essential contents of the events under consideration.
4 - Exercise of the right to information on sporting events, specifically through radio reports or comments, shall not be limited or constrained by requirements for any forms of financial compensation, except for those merely intended to bear the costs arising from the provision of technical and human resources specifically requested for this purpose by the broadcaster.
5 - The provision established in the previous point shall apply to non-Community broadcasters, insofar as national broadcasters receive equal treatment by legislation or authorities to which the former are subject, in sports events of a similar nature.
6 - Conflicts arising from nos. 3 and 4 hereof shall be settled on an urgent basis by ERC, whose decision shall be binding.
General obligations of radio broadcasters
1 - All radio broadcasters shall guarantee in their programming, specifically by means of self-regulatory practices, the respect for broadcasting ethics, particularly with regard to respect for human dignity, fundamental rights and other constitutionally-consecrated values, specially the development of the personality of children and adolescents.
2 - The following shall be deemed to be general obligations for all radio broadcasters in each of their programme services:
a) Ensure the broadcasting of diversified programming, including regular news information slots;
b) Guarantee programming and news information that is independent from political and economic powers;
c) Guarantee information that observes pluralism, accurateness and independence;
d) Guarantee the right of reply and of rectification as specified in the Constitution and in the law;
e) Ensure the right to free airtime during electoral periods, as specified in the Constitution and in the law;
f) Guarantee the broadcasting of programmes that promote Portuguese culture, language and music;
g) Guarantee on-air identification of the respective programme services.
3 - Generalist or thematic information local radio programme services shall also broadcast programmes, including news information programmes, of relevance to listeners of the corresponding geographical coverage area, specifically in social, economic, scientific and cultural terms.
4 – Paragraphs a), c) and e) of no. 2, where applied to thematic programmes, shall take into account their specific programming model.
Editorial responsibility and autonomy
1 - Each programme service shall have a person responsible for guiding and monitoring the content of the broadcasts.
2 - Each programme service which includes news programming shall have a news director.
3 - The radio broadcaster is responsible for the appointment and dismissal of the news director after having heard the editorial board.
4 - The prior hearing of the editorial board may be waived on the occasion of the appointment of the first news director for each programme service and for programme services of a doctrinal or religious nature.
5 - Management or supervisory positions in the news area shall be exercised with editorial autonomy, wherein the radio broadcaster is prohibited from interfering in the production of news content, as well as the manner in which such content is represented.
6 – The provisions established in the previous number do not apply to guidance provided with the sole intent of ensuring compliance with legal provisions, wherein non-compliance will imply criminal or administrative liability for the radio broadcaster.
1 - Each programme service shall adopt an editorial statute that shall define clearly and in detail, its guidelines and objectives, including the commitment to respect listeners’ rights, professional ethics, as well as the deontological principles of journalism, where appropriate.
2 - The editorial statute shall be drawn up by the persons in charge specified in the previous article, after having heard the editorial board, and where appropriate, subject to the approval of the owner, and shall be submitted to ERC no more than 60 days after the date of the first broadcast.
3 - The procedure specified in the previous point shall apply to any amendments to the editorial statute.
4 - In relation to programme services which have already stated broadcasting without submitting to ERC their editorial statute, the period referred to in no. 2 shall run from the date this law enters into force.
5 - The editorial statute of radio programme services shall be made publicly available by any appropriate means, especially in the respective websites.
Radio broadcasters that provide generalist programme services or thematic news information programme services shall produce and broadcast at least three news bulletins on a regular and daily basis, between 7 a.m. and 12 midnight.
1 - Managerial, coordination and editorial duties, as well as the provision of news bulletins, must be guaranteed by journalists or equivalent professionals.
2 - In relation to local radio programme services, editorial duties as well as news bulletins may also be guaranteed by employees of the news area that have been accredited pursuant to the Journalist’s Statute, approved by Law no. 1/99, of 13 January, as amended by Law no. 64/2007, of 6 November, and Decree-Law no. 70/2008, of 15 April,, provided that the work produced by the latter does not exceed half the daily airtime dedicated to news programming.
1 - Radio programme services operate with in-house programming, except where specifically stipulated otherwise in this law.
2 - Programme services shall indicate their name and broadcasting frequency at least once per hour and wherever a segment of their in-house programming restarts.
Number of broadcasting hours
Terrestrial programme services shall broadcast 24 hours a day.
Recording and registration of broadcasts
1 - Broadcasts shall be recorded and stored for at least 30 days, unless a longer period is determined by law or a court decision.
2 - Radio broadcasters shall submit the monthly list of works and phonograms broadcast in the respective programme services, to entities representing authors, producers, artists and performers, when this is requested with due prior notice by the latter, specifically indicating the title of the work, the performer and where appropriate, the respective producer and broadcasting date.
Advertising and sponsorship
1 - Radio advertising shall be governed by the provisions of the Advertising Code, in accordance with the specific requirements established in the following numbers.
2 - The inclusion of advertising shall not affect the integrity of programmes, and shall take account of their own breaks, duration and nature.
3 - The broadcasting of advertising material shall not exceed 20% of the total airtime of the licensed programme services.
4 - Sponsored programme slots must make explicit reference to this fact at the beginning of the programme.
5 - The contents and programming of a sponsored broadcast shall not be influenced by the sponsor in any way, so as to affect the responsibility and editorial independence of the radio broadcaster or respective directors.
6 - Contents of sponsored programmes shall not instigate the purchase or leasing of goods or services from the sponsors or third parties, specifically by making specific advertising references to such goods or services.
7 - News bulletins and current affairs programmes shall not be sponsored.
Broadcasting of Portuguese music
1 - The music programming of radio programme services must include Portuguese music, with a minimum quota ranging from 25% to 40%.
2 - For the purposes hereof, the following musical compositions are deemed to be Portuguese music:
a) Compositions in Portuguese or that reflect the Portuguese cultural heritage, specifically drawing inspiration from Portugal’s characteristic traditions, environments or sonorities, whatever the nationality of their authors or performers; or
b) Compositions that, despite the fact that they’re not performed in Portuguese, for reasons associated to the nature of the respective musical genres nonetheless represent a contribution to Portuguese culture.
Public service broadcasting quotas
The Portuguese music quotas by which the public radio broadcasting service must abide shall be established in the respective concession contract, wherein the broadcasting percentage for the first programme service shall not be lower than 60% of all music broadcast therein.
Music in Portuguese
The quota for Portuguese music established under the terms of no. 1 of article 41 must include at least 60% of music composed or performed in Portuguese by citizens of European Union Member States.
1 - The quota of Portuguese music established under the terms of no. 1 of article 41 must include at least 35% of music whose first phonographic release or public broadcast occurred within the previous 12 months.
2 - The previous point shall not apply to programme services that are exclusively dedicated to broadcasting phonograms released more than one year before.
3 - For the purpose of monitoring compliance with no. 1 hereof, authors, record labels or other bodies must notify ERC of the date on which Portuguese music works, as defined herein, are publicly made available.
1 - The regime established in this section does not apply to thematic music programme services whose specific programming model is based on broadcasting of musical genres that are insufficiently produced in Portugal.
2 – ERC will be responsible for specifying the programme services covered by no. 1 and shall publicly disclose the criteria governing the respective classification.
The Government will be responsible, after consulting the representative bodies of the sectors involved and taking into consideration available indicators on matters concerning demand for Portuguese music in the national recorded music market, for establishing the broadcasting quotas specified in no. 1 of article 41, by means of an administrative rule, for one-year periods.
Calculation of percentages
1 - For monitoring purposes, the percentages specified in this section shall be calculated on a monthly basis, taking into account the number of compositions broadcast by each programme service in the previous month.
2 – The percentages referred to in the present section shall also be observed in programmes broadcast between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
1 - The structure and operation of the public service radio broadcaster shall safeguard its independence from the Government, Public Administration and other public authorities, as well as ensure the expression and discussion of various strands of opinion.
2 - The public radio broadcasting service shall uphold the principles of universality and national cohesion, diversification, programming excellence and indivisibility, pluralism and accuracy, impartiality and independence of news information, as well as the principle of innovation.
Specific obligations of the concessionaire of
the public radio broadcasting service
1 - The concessionaire of the public radio broadcasting service shall present, according to the principles specified in the previous article, programming that fosters the cultural and civic education of listeners, ensuring that all persons have access to quality news information, education and entertainment.
2 - In particular, the concessionaire shall:
a) Provide varied and comprehensive programming, aimed for and accessible to all members of the population, that fosters cultural diversity and takes into account the interests of minority groups;
b) Foster and disseminate national artistic creation and awareness of the Portuguese historic and cultural heritage, ensuring public access to national cultural events and appropriate news coverage thereof;
c) Provide independent, accurate, pluralist and contextualised information, that ensures news coverage of the main national and international events;
d) Ensure the production and broadcasting of educational and entertainment programmes intended for young people and children, contributing to their education;
e) Ensure the broadcasting of cultural, educational and informational programmes for specific target groups, including the different immigrant communities in Portugal;
f) Participate in media education activities, specifically ensuring the broadcasting of programmes targeted at this objective;
g) Foster the broadcasting of Portuguese music, of various genres, taking into consideration the mission of its programme services;
h) Broadcast regular programmes intended to disseminate Portuguese language and culture, especially intended for Portuguese citizens living outside Portugal and the nationals of other official Portuguese-speaking countries;
i) Guarantee the right to free airtime, of reply and political reply, under the terms of the Constitution and the law;
j) Ensure the broadcasting of messages as requested by the President of the Republic, the President of the Assembly of the Republic or the Prime Minister, and in the regional broadcasts especially intended for the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira, by the presidents of the respective Legislative Assemblies and the Regional Governments;
l) Concede airtime to the Public Administration, for disclosure of information of general interest, in particular in matters of public health, civil protection and public safety;
m) Maintain and update the sound archives;
n) Ensure that a collection representing the evolution of the radio environment is kept, updated and made publicly available, according to applicable museum-related principles and standards, under the terms of the concession contract;
o) Develop cooperation with the radio broadcasters of Portuguese-speaking countries;
p) Maintain liaison and exchange with international organisations and foreign entities associated to radio broadcasting.
Concession of the public radio broadcasting service
1 - The public radio broadcasting service shall be provided through the broadcasting means and technologies that best ensure full coverage of the national territory and satisfy citizens' informational, educational, cultural and entertainment needs.
2 - The concession of the public radio broadcasting service shall be granted to Rádio e Televisão de Portugal S.A. for a 16-year period, under the terms of the concession contract to be signed between the State and the concessionaire.
3 - The concession contract shall establish, pursuant to this chapter, the rights and obligations of each of the parties, and shall define the objectives to be attained and the qualitative and quantitative criteria that guarantee their achievement, as well as the respective forms of assessment.
4 - The concession contract shall define the programme services and additional means required to pursue the public service, as well as the respective mission, ensuring innovative and high-quality programming, that takes into account the general public and its various audience segments, including young people, paying specific attention to information, culture, classical music and knowledge.
5 - The concession contract shall also establish commercial advertising restrictions applicable to the public radio broadcasting service.
6 – The objective of international broadcasts, in consideration of national interests in terms of upholding ties with Portuguese communities throughout the world or cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries, will be the affirmation, valorisation and protection of the Portuguese language and Portugal's national image in the world.
7 – Regional broadcasts that are especially intended for the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira shall take due account of the respective social and cultural realities and encourage regional production.
8 - The concession contract shall be subject to an opinion from ERC, pursuant to its respective Statutes, approved by Law no. 53/2005, of 8 November.
9 - The concession contract shall be reviewed every four years, without prejudice to any amendments deemed to be necessary in the interim period.
10 - The review process referred to in the previous point shall take into consideration the assessment of compliance with the public service and shall also contemplate a public consultation concerning the objectives and reference criteria for the following four-year period.
Financing and monitoring of performance
1 - The State shall ensure the financing of the public radio broadcasting service and shall safeguard the appropriate implementation thereof, pursuant to Law no. 30/2003, of 22 August, as amended by Decree-Laws nos. 169-A/2005, of 3 October, 230/2007, of 14 June, and 107/2010, of 13 October, which approve the financing model of the public television and radio broadcasting service.
2 - Public financing shall abide by the principles of proportionality and transparency.
3 - The concession contract shall establish a monitoring system for assessing compliance with the public service missions, and the transparency and proportionality of the associated financial flows.
4 - The concessionaire of the public radio broadcasting service shall be subject to an annual audit conducted by ERC, which shall assess the correct performance of the concession contract.
Rights to free airtime, of political reply, response and rectification
Counting of airtime
Radio broadcasters shall ensure the counting of free airtime, of political reply time, of reply time and of rectification time, for the purposes of this chapter, making the respective results available to interested parties.
Right to free airtime
Access to the right to free airtime
1 - Political parties, trade unions, professional organisations, organisations representing economic and environmental activities, and consumer protection associations, as well as non-governmental organisations that promote equal opportunities and non-discrimination, shall be guaranteed the right to free airtime on the public radio broadcasting service.
2 – Free airtime shall mean a programme slot for which the right holder is responsible, and wherein this fact will be explicitly mentioned at the beginning and end of each broadcast.
3 – The entities referred to in no. 1 shall be entitled on an annual basis to the following free airtime:
a) Ten minutes per party represented in the Assembly of the Republic, or in the Legislative Assemblies of the Autonomous Regions, plus fifteen seconds per each elected member;
b) Five minutes per party not represented in the Assembly of the Republic, or in the Legislative Assemblies of the Autonomous Regions, that participated in the most recent general elections, plus fifteen seconds per each 15,000 votes obtained in these elections;
c) Sixty minutes, per category, for trade unions, professional organisations and bodies representing economic activities, and sixty minutes for the other bodies indicated in no. 1, to be allotted according to their representation;
d) Ten minutes for other bodies that are legally entitled to free airtime.
4 - In the case of the Autonomous Regions, the right to free airtime referred to in the previous point shall be exercised by the parties that participated in the elections for the Regional Legislative Assemblies, in programme services that are especially intended for the respective Region.
5 - Each right holder may use the entitlement to free airtime one time only in any 15-day period, and may not use it in broadcasts that last more than five minutes or less than two minutes, unless their overall airtime is lower.
6 – The programming directors, in collaboration with the rights holders of free airtime and in compliance with this law, shall organise general plans for the respective use.
7 – In the event of an irremediable failure to reach an agreement on the plans referred to in the previous point, and at the request of the interested parties, ERC shall conduct arbitration.
Limitation of the right to free airtime
1 - The right to free airtime shall not be exercised on Saturdays, Sundays and official public holidays, and shall also be suspended one month before the date established for the beginning of an electoral or referendum campaign, pursuant to the respective legislation.
2 - The right to free airtime is non-transferable.
Broadcasting and reservation of the right to free airtime
1 – Free airtime slots shall be broadcast in national programme services with the highest audience between 10.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m.
2 - Holders of the right to free airtime may request the reservation of the airtime to which they are entitled, up to 48 hours before the broadcast, and the respective recording should be carried out or pre-recorded materials should be submitted up to 24 hours before the slot is to be broadcast.
3 - Holders of the right to free airtime are to be provided, on absolutely equal terms, with such technical means as are indispensable for the production of their respective programmes.
Forfeit of the right to free airtime
Failure to comply with the time limits stipulated under the previous article will result in the forfeit of the right, except where such failure is due to forces which lie beyond the control of the holder of the right, in which case the unused free airtime may be added to the next programme subsequent to the removal of the obstacle.
Right to free airtime during election-time
During election-time, the use of the right to free airtime shall be governed by electoral law.
Right of political reply
Right of political reply of opposition parties
1 - Parties represented in the Assembly of the Republic that do not form part of the Government are entitled to respond, in the same programme service, to political statements made by the Government in the public radio broadcasting service where such statements directly concern them.
2 - The duration and prominence given to the exercise of the right referred to in the previous point shall be the same as given to the original statement that gave rise to the reply.
3 - When more than one party has requested to exercise the right, through their respective representatives, the time is divided equally among the different holders of said right, wherein each respondent shall be entitled to a minimum period of one minute.
4 -The procedures specified in the present law for the exercise of the right of reply shall apply likewise, mutatis mutandis, to the right of political reply.
5 - For the purposes of this article, only statements on general or sectorial policies made by the Government in its name and identifiable as such shall be considered, whereby statements made by members of the Government on matters relating to the management of their respective departments are not deemed relevant for this purpose.
6 - The provisions set forth in the previous points shall correspondingly apply, in respect of programme services specifically aimed at the Autonomous Regions, to the right of political reply of the parties which, while represented in the Regional Legislative Assemblies, do not form part of the respective Regional Governments.
Rights of reply and of rectification
Assumptions governing rights of reply and to rectification
1 - Any natural or legal person, organisation, public service or body that has been referred to, even indirectly, in radio programme services in such a way as to affect its reputation or good name, is entitled to a right of reply in the said services.
2 – The entities mentioned in the previous point are entitled to make rectifications in radio programme services whenever false or inaccurate references concerning them have been made therein.
3 - Where the programme where references mentioned in the previous point has been used in a chain broadcast, the rights of reply and of rectification may be exercised before the body responsible for that broadcast or any broadcaster that broadcast it.
4 - The right of reply and to rectification will be undermined if, with the express agreement of the concerned party, the director of the respective programme service has corrected or clarified the text under consideration, or has provided thereto another means of effectively outlining its views.
5 - The right of reply and to rectification is established without prejudice to any criminal proceedings related thereof, and without prejudice to the right to compensation for any damages caused.
Right to hear the broadcast
1 - The holder of the right of reply or to rectification, or its legitimate representative, pursuant to no. 1 of the following article, may request, for the purposes of exercising its right, to listen to the material from the broadcast in question, while paying for the respective cost of the recording format used, wherein this material is to be provided within a maximum of a 24-hour or 48-hour period, depending on whether or not the request is made on a working day.
2 - The request for listening suspends the deadline for the exercise of the right, which shall restart 24 hours after the provision of the recorded broadcast.
Exercise of the rights of reply and of rectification
1 - The rights of reply and of rectification shall be exercised by the holder thereof, its legal representative or his heirs, within 20 days following the broadcast.
2 - The deadline stipulated in the previous point is to be suspended when, for reasons of force majeure, the persons specified therein are prevented from exercising the right under consideration.
3 - The reply or rectification text must be submitted to those in charge of the broadcast, bearing the signature and identification of its author, via recorded delivery, and expressly invoking the right of reply or rectification or the applicable legal provisions.
4 - The contents of the reply or rectification is to be limited to content which is directly and usefully relevant to the references that gave rise to them, and shall not exceed 300 words, or the number of words of the text which gave cause thereto, if higher.
5 - The reply or rectification shall not include any words that are disproportionately uncivil or that give rise to criminal or civil liability, for which, in such cases, only the author of the reply or rectification shall be held accountable.
Decision on the broadcast of the reply or rectification
1 - In the event that a reply or rectification falls outside the legal deadlines, originates from persons without legitimacy, is clearly unsubstantiated or stands contrary to the provisions of nos. 4 and 5 of the previous article, the director of the programme service concerned may refuse its broadcast, and shall inform in writing the interested party of the refusal and respective grounds, within twenty-four hours following receipt of the reply or rectification.
2 - Where the reply or rectification fail to comply with the provisions of nos. 4 and 5 of the previous article, the director of the programme service shall request from the interested party, within the deadline specified in the previous point, to remove the relevant passages or words within forty-eight hours, failing which the director of the programme service shall be entitled to refuse to broadcast the text in its entirety.
3 - Where the right of reply or of rectification has not been fulfilled or has been unjustifiably refused, the interested party may bring the matter to the judicial court in the area of its residence, within 10 days from said refusal or from expiry of the legal deadline for the fulfilment of the right, or to ERC, pursuant to provisions that apply specifically thereto.
4 - Following the request for legal notification of the programming director who has not fulfilled the right of reply or of rectification, that person shall be immediately notified by post to challenge the claim within a deadline of two working days, following which a decision shall be issued within the same period, which decision may be appealed with a mere non-staying effect.
5 - Only documentary evidence shall be allowed, and all documents shall be attached to the initial claim and response.
6 - Where the claim is upheld, the programme service shall broadcast the reply or rectification within the deadline specified in no. 1 of the following article, along with the mention that the broadcast is being carried out following a court decision or a ruling of ERC.
Broadcast of the reply or rectification
1 - The reply or rectification is to be broadcast within twenty-four hours following delivery of the respective text to the director of the programme service concerned, except as specified in nos. 1 and 2 of the previous article.
2 - The reply or rectification shall be broadcast free of charge in the same programme or, where this is not possible, during an equivalent airtime.
3 - The reply or rectification shall be broadcast as often as the programmes containing the reference that gave rise to them.
4 - The reply or rectification shall read by an announcer of the programme service in a format that ensures it is easily understood and may include other audio components where the reference that gave rise to them used similar techniques.
5 - The broadcast of the reply or rectification may not be preceded nor followed by any comments whatsoever, except for those necessary to indicate any factual inaccuracy or error, which may give rise to a new reply or rectification, pursuant to nos. 1 and 2 of article 59.
Forms of liability
1 - The conditions under which civil liability may be incurred, as resulting from acts committed through radio broadcasting activity is to be determined according to the general regime of civil liability.
2 - Radio broadcasters shall be held to be jointly liable with those responsible for the broadcasting of pre-recorded material, except in respect of material which is broadcast pursuant to the right to free airtime, political reply, reply and rectification or in the course of interviews or debates involving persons who are not contractually bound to the broadcaster.
1 - Acts or behaviours perpetrated through radio broadcasting that adversely affects legally-protected interests shall be liable under penal law and the provisions of this law.
2 – The directors referred to in article 33 shall only be held criminally liable if they do not oppose, and may do so, perpetration of the crimes referred to in no. 1, by means of appropriate preventative legal proceedings in which case the penalties stipulated in corresponding legal categories are applicable, with the respective limits reduced by a third.
3 – Where duly identified persons provide statements which are properly reproduced or provide opinions, they shall be solely liable in respect thereof, except where the respective content constitutes incitement to hatred on the grounds of race, religion, politics, skin colour, ethnic or national origin, gender or sexual orientation, or incitement to perpetrate a crime, and where the respective broadcast has no justification under journalistic criteria.
4 - In the case of unauthorised broadcasts, the person responsible for ordering the respective broadcast shall be held liable.
5 - The technical staff working for radio broadcasters shall not be liable for the broadcasts to which they have provided their professional services, provided that they may not be held liable for awareness of the criminal nature of their act.
Illegal radio broadcasting activity
1 - Whoever pursues radio broadcasting activity while not being legally authorised to do so shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years or a fine up to 320 days.
2 - All assets used in illegal radio broadcasting activity shall be forfeited to the State, without prejudice to the rights of third parties who acted in good faith.
3 - No. 1 shall apply specifically in the following situations:
a) Pursuit of the activity by an undertaking that doesn’t hold a license or authorisation;
b) Failure to comply with a decision to revoke a licence.
1 - The programming director, or whoever replaces him, shall be liable for the crime of qualified disobedience when:
a) He fails to adhere to a judicial ruling ordering the broadcasting of a reply or rectification pursuant to no. 6 of article 62;
b) He refuses to broadcast judicial rulings, pursuant to article 82.
c) He fails to comply with the determinations of ERC as regards the exercise of the right to free airtime, to political reply, or to reply or rectification.
Undermining the freedom of programming and information
1 - Whoever prevents or disturbs the broadcasting of radio programme services or seizes or damages the material required to pursue radio broadcasting activity, except where as provided for under the law, with the purpose of undermining the freedom of programming and information, is to be punished with imprisonment for a period of up to 2 years or with a fine of up to 240 days where no heavier penalty is provided for under penal law.
2 - The application of the penalty specified in the previous point shall be without prejudice to civil liability for damages caused to the radio broadcaster.
3 - Where the perpetrator is an agent or civil servant of the State or of a public sector legal person and commits the acts described in no. 1, in the exercise of his duties, he shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years or a fine up to 320 days, where a heavier penalty has not been provided for under penal law.
1 – An administrative offence is committed, punishable by a fine:
a) From € 1,250 to € 12,500, in the event of failure to comply with no. 4 of article 9, no. 3 of article 24, paragraph g) of no. 2 of article 32, no. 1 of article 82, failure to comply with the first part of no. 1 of article 54, failure to observe the deadline and omission of the mention referred to in no. 6 of article 62;
b) From € 3,000 to € 30,000, in the event of failure to comply with no. 1 of article 41, articles 42 and 43, and no. 2 of article 47;
c) From € 3,750 to € 25,000, in the event of failure to comply with nos. 2 and 3 of article 7, nos. 2 and 4 of article 33, article 34, no. 2 of article 37, articles 38 and 39, nos. 2 to 7 of article 40, no. 5 of article 53, no. 1 of article 55, nos. 1 to 3 of article 58 and article 63, of the pursuit of radio broadcasting activity prior to paying fees referred to in no. 1 of article 14, as well as breaches of the second part of no. 1 and of no. 2 of article 54, and of the deadline specified in no. 1 of article 60;
d) From € 10,000 to € 100,000, in the event of failure to comply with article 3, nos. 3 to 6 of article 4, articles 10 and 11, articles 15, 16 and 25, nos. 1 and 2 of article 26, nos. 2 and 3 of article 30, no. 1 of article 31, articles 35 and 36, no. 1 of article 37, no. 3 of article 76, of transfer of programme services which does not meet requirements specified in nos. 9 and 10 of article 4, denial of the right specified in no. 1 of article 60, as well as the permission, by the license or authorisation holder, for operation of the service by third parties.
2 - In relation to local radio programme services, the maximum and minimum limits of fines specified in the previous point shall be reduced by a third.
3 - Negligence is punishable with the minimum and maximum limits of the fines under the previous point reduced by 50%.
1 – The administrative offences specified in no. 1 b) and d) of the previous article may give rise, according to the seriousness of the infringement and to the agent's culpability, to the accompanying sanction of suspension of the license or authorisation of the programme service in which the offence was committed, for a period not exceeding 30 days.
2 - Failure to comply with nos. 2 and 3 of article 30, punished pursuant to no. 1 d) of the previous article, may give rise, according to the seriousness of the infringement and to the agent's culpability, to the accompanying sanction of suspension of broadcasting of the programme service in which the offence was committed, for a period not exceeding 30 days, except where advertising slots are concerned, in which case the accompanying sanctions and interim measures specified in the Advertising Code shall apply.
3 - Failure to comply with nos. 2 and 3 of article 30, where committed in exercise of the right to free airtime, and with no. 2 of article 54, punished according to no. 1 c) of the previous article, may give rise, according to the seriousness of the infringement and to the agent’s culpability, to the accompanying sanction of suspension of the right to exercise that right for a period between 3 to 12 months, with a minimum 6-month penalty in the event of a repeated offence, without prejudice to other penalties specified in the law.
4 – Application of a fine for failure to comply with articles 10 and 11, nos. 1 and 2 of article 26, nos. 2 and 3 of article 30, and articles 35 and 37, may also give ruse to the accompanying sanction of disclosure of the conviction, under the terms specify by the competent authority.
5 – Practise of the administrative offence specified in no. 1 d) of the previous article in a programme service whose license or authorisation has been suspended twice in the three years preceding practise of the illicit act, will lead to revocation of the license or authorisation.
6 - Appeals lodged against the application of accompanying sanctions shall have a suspensive effect until the respective decision has been transited in rem judicatam.
Special mitigation and exemption from the suspension and fine
1 - Where circumstances are such as to allow the special mitigation of the penalty, under general law:
a) In the case of the administrative offence specified in no. 1 a) to c) of article 69, the provision of no. 3 of article 18 of the General Regime of Administrative Offences shall apply;
b) In the case of the administrative offence specified in no. 1 d) of article 69, the limits of the penalty shall be reduced by a third, and the programme service license or authorisation suspension may not be ordered.
c) In the case of the administrative offence specified in no. 1 a) of article 69, the offender may be exempted from the penalty where circumstances are such as to allow a penalty exemption, pursuant to the Criminal Code.
The radio broadcaster in whose programme service the infringement was committed shall be liable for the administrative offences specified in article 69, except for the breach of no. 2 of article 54, for which the holder of the right to free airtime shall be liable.
Revocation of a licence or authorisation
1 - The revocation of licenses or authorisations may be determined by ERC in the event that:
a) Licensed programme services fail to start within the deadline specified in no. 1 of article 25, or in the absence of broadcasting for a period exceeding two months, except in case of a duly substantiated authorisation, unforeseeable circumstances or force majeure;
b) The programme service is operated by an undertaking other that the legitimate holder of the license or authorisation;
c) The insolvency of the radio broadcaster.
2 - ERC shall also be entitled to determine the revocation of licenses or authorisations where the radio broadcaster is convicted for the third time in three years, in the scope of the same programme service, for the practise of the administrative offence specified in no. 1 d) of article 69.
Suspension of execution
1 - Execution of the suspension of the license or of the authorisation of programme services may be suspended for a period from three months to a year, where the broadcaster has not been convicted of an administrative offence within the preceding year and ERC may reasonably expect that through such suspension the goal of suspension of the license or authorisation may be achieved.
2 - The suspension of execution may be made subject to the provision of a surety bond to guarantee good conduct, to be set between € 1,000 and € 15,000, depending on the duration of the suspension and the scope of coverage of the programme service concerned.
3 - The suspension of execution shall be revoked whenever, during the course of the respective period, the offender commits a serious administrative offence, as specified in no. 1 d) of article 69.
4 - Revocation determines enactment of the suspension, the execution of which was suspended, and forfeit of the surety bond.
1 - In the case of infringement of no. 3 of article 40 and in any other situation where ERC is in possession of a recording or other automated record of the facts that constitute the infringement, as soon as the news of the infringement has been received, the operator shall be notified of:
a) The facts that constitute the infringement;
b) The legislation which has been infringed;
c) Applicable penalties;
d) The deadline granted to submit a defence.
2 - The defendant may, within 10 days from the notification, submit its defence, in writing, providing any means of evidence deemed to be necessary.
1 – ERC shall be responsible for inspection of the provisions established in this law.
2 - It shall be incumbent upon the national communications regulatory authority to monitor broadcasting and relay stations, the technical conditions under which broadcasts are made and the protection of radio reception, in the framework of applicable legislation.
3 - Radio broadcasters shall provide the inspectors with access to all their facilities, equipment, documents and other elements required for pursuit of their activity.
Sanctioning powers and proceedings
1 - ERC shall be responsible for examining the administrative offence proceedings specified in this law and its chairman shall be responsible for applying the corresponding fines and accompanying penalties.
2 - Administrative offence proceedings shall be governed by the General Regime of Administrative Offences and, on a subsidiary basis, by the provisions of the Penal Procedure Code, except for the special rules specified herein.
Proceeds from fines
Proceeds from fines shall revert as follows:
a) 60% to the State;
b) 40% to ERC.
Special provisions on proceedings
Form of proceedings
Proceedings for criminal offences committed through radio broadcasting activity shall be governed by the provisions of the Penal Procedure Code and complementary legislation, with the specificities resulting from this law.
1 - The judicial court of the location where the broadcaster has its head office or permanent representation shall have jurisdiction over the crimes specified herein.
2 - The previous point does not apply to crimes committed against good name and reputation, the protection of private life or other personal values, wherein, in these cases, the judicial court of the area of residence of the injured party shall have jurisdiction.
3 - In the case of radio broadcasts by an undertaking which is not so authorised under the law, and where the element defining jurisdiction under no. 1 is unknown, Lisbon District Judicial Court shall have jurisdiction.
Regime of evidence
1 - In order to prove the pre-requisites for the exercise of the rights to reply or to rectification, and without prejudice to other means of evidence provided for by law, the interested party may request, pursuant to article 528 of the Civil Procedure Code, that the radio broadcaster be instructed to present recordings of the respective programme, within the response deadline.
2 - In addition to the means of evidence referred to in the previous point, only documental evidence attached to the initial claim and response shall be admissible.
Broadcasting of decisions
1 - Where so requested by the Ministério Público (Public Prosecution Service) or by an injured party, the operative part of final judgments in respect of crimes committed though radio broadcasting activity, as well as identification of the parties concerned, is to be broadcast in the programme service in which the infringement was committed, following a judicial decision which shall establish the time and date for this purpose.
2 - A defendant in criminal proceedings reported on the radio who is subsequently acquitted in a final judgement may make a request to the court that the findings of the judgement are also reported by the radio broadcaster, in the same programme service, at an equivalent time and with the corresponding time slot and prominence.
3 - The disclosure of the operative part of final judgments mentioned in the previous points shall safeguard the rights of third parties.
Conservation of radio heritage
Records of public interest
1 - Radio broadcasters of a national and regional scope shall organize audio and musical archives for the purpose of conservation of recordings of public interest.
2 - The rules governing the assignment and use of the recordings referred to in the previous point shall be determined by a joint Administrative Rule issued by the members of the Government responsible for the cultural and media areas, taking into account their historic, educational and cultural value for the community, wherein the requesting entity is liable for paying the respective author’s rights fees.
Additional, final and transitory provisions
Exercise of radio activity via the Internet
The only provisions of this law that apply to the exercise of radio broadcasting activity exclusively via the Internet, either directly or with the necessary adaptations, shall be articles 2 and 16, article 17 (4), articles 24, 29 to 34, 39, 40, 52, 59 to 65, 67 to 72 and 74 to 81.
Terrestrial digital radio
Licenses held by analogue radio broadcasters shall be deemed to be a sufficient qualification for the exercise of the respective terrestrial digital activity, under provisions to be defined in specific legislation.
1 - The exercise of local radio broadcasting activity by undertakings to which such a right has been granted by an express administrative act without a public tender shall be governed by the provisions of this law, wherein the respective qualification's period of validity shall be counted from the date of the respective entry into force.
2 - The use of frequencies allocated by express administrative act without a public tender for local radio programme services is subject to the regime specified in Law no. 5/2004, of 10 February, as amended by Decree-Law no. 176/2007, of 8 May, by Law no. 35/2008, of 28 July, and by Decree-Laws no. 123/2009, of 21 May, and no. 258/2009, of 25 September, wherein the respective qualification's period of validity shall be counted from the date that this law enters into force.
3 - The period of validity of the licenses or authorisations specified in no. 1 of article 27 shall apply to qualifications granted or renewed after 1 January 2008, wherein ERC shall be responsible for fostering any due endorsements on its own initiative, other qualifications being applied the period of validity already determined by a legislative act or prevailing legislation at the time they were granted or renewed.
Validly constituted situations
Nos. 4 and 5 of article 4 and no. 2 of article 16 shall not apply to situations that have been validly constituted on the date that this law enters into force.
Law no. 4/2001, of 23 February,, as amended by Laws 33/2003, of 22 August, and 7/2006, of 3 March., is hereby repealed.
Approved on 29 October 2010.
The President of the Assembly of the Republic, Jaime Gama.
Promulgated on 12 December, 2010.
Let this be published.
The President of the Republic, Aníbal Cavaco Silva.
Countersigned on 13 December 2010.
The Prime Minister, José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa.