In addition to monitoring compliance with advertising regulations, KommAustria is also responsible for the general supervision of private broadcasters' (and multiplex operators') compliance with the Private Radio Act and Private Television Act.
In this context, violations of those laws may be identified in the broadcaster's programming itself (in addition to advertising violations, these may include violations of fundamental programming principles such as youth protection) as well as the broadcaster's activities in other areas (e.g., violations of notification requirements).
In general, KommAustria can initiate procedures on the basis of a complaint (where certain legally defined prerequisites are fulfilled) or by virtue of office. Such procedures result in an official decision identifying a legal violation, and in the case of repeated or severe violations the authority may even revoke a broadcaster's license or prohibit further broadcasting activities.
In addition, KommAustria is also required to carry out administrative penal procedures and to impose monetary fines where certain regulations are violated (e.g., unlicensed broadcasting by "pirate" stations).
In the licensing process, the broadcaster's programming plan is also approved by way of an official decision. As a rule, the programming plan submitted is a decisive factor in the decision to allocate transmission capacity to one of several qualified applicants. Therefore, a licensee can only make fundamental changes to the nature of its programming at a later point in time if such changes fulfill certain requirements and a special procedure is carried out before the authority. Should a broadcaster make such fundamental changes without approval, the broadcaster's license may be revoked.
Finally, the authority's legal supervisory duties also include supervision of the broadcasters' ownership structures. In this context, certain (major) changes in ownership must be approved by the authority in advance, while others need only be reported after the fact.
For more information, please refer to the following sections of the RTR web site: