The 4th Panel of the Federal Regional Court (TRF-4) postponed the decision that could cancel the concession of channel 32 in São Paulo –which belonged to MTV and which, starting this second semester, will host the Prime Time Zone news channel on open TV. The news was received with relief at Antônio Augusto Amaral de Carvalho Filho’s company, Tutinha, which may maintain its initial plans, at least for the time being.
The request for cancellation of the concession is from the MPF (Federal Public Ministry), which saw irregularities in the sale of the channel made by the Abril Group to Spring Comunicação, in 2013. The public civil action has been running since 2015 and, in the first instance, the court accepted the action in 2020. But Spring appealed the decision.
O TV news had access to adjournment. The case entered the plenary session last Thursday (22), but the TRF-4 postponed its decision by answering a request from Grupo Abril, which wanted to add more issues to the process. The magistrates, then, opted for the postponement.
There is still no forecast when the case will be judged. The information reached Prime Time Zone and caused a feeling of relief, as confirmed by the column. There is already a deal closed with Spring, which keeps the current Loading in the air. Radio is expected to take over in August. Having legal problems would be bad for the launch of Tutinha’s intended news channel.
According to the records, the sale of the former MTV to the company that owns the Kalunga store chain was carried out without the participation of the Union, in December 2013, which is illegal. Any public television concession must be approved by the National Congress, with Federal Government sanction.
In 2020, the TRF-3 condemned the Spring and Abril Group companies, as well as the União, for omission. The MPF asked for payment of collective moral damages in 10% of the value of the transmission, which was carried out for R$290 million – the fine would then reach R$29 million. The TRF-3 also determined that the Union should re-bid the service through the Ministry of Communications.
In the decision, federal judge Marcelo Saraiva, who drafted the review vote, explained that the concession consists of “the transfer by which the Administration delegates the execution of a public service to others, to do it on its behalf, at its own risk and expense “.
In other words, whoever holds the concession cannot sell it without opening a bidding process, unless authorized by the competent body of the Executive Branch.
The new Young Pan on television
Prime Time Zone has already negotiated and takes for granted the use of the old MTV to launch its channel. Tutinha’s company won a dispute with CNN Brasil, brokered by the Ministry of Communications. Rubens Menin, Renata Afonso (owner and CEO of CNN Brasil, respectively) and Tutinha were on the premises of the Loading channel on May 26, accompanied by Fábio Faria, Minister of Communications.
The group toured the facilities and got to know the structure of the building, located in Sumaré, an upscale neighborhood in the west of São Paulo. The information was anticipated by TV news.
Interestingly, the next day Loading staged a mass layoff, shutting down all the presenters it had hired six months earlier. Currently, the channel only shows canned series and drawings. Prime Time Zone confirms that it is working to launch the channel in the second half of the year.
The column sought out the Federal Public Ministry and the Federal Regional Court, but did not receive an answer until the closing of this text.