The matter of the license for TVN24 and the change of opinion on TVN by the National Broadcasting Council was commented on by Agnieszka Wiercińska-Krużewska, a partner at WKB. “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna” has obtained a legal opinion, on the basis of which the National Broadcasting Council recognized TVN as a European entity. – This confirms the positions expressed by probably most lawyers dealing with media law – said Wiercińska-Krużewska. – It results directly from the act – she emphasized.
TVN24 is still waiting for the license extension by the National Broadcasting Council. According to “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”, a few years ago the current president of Poczta Polska Tomasz Zdzikot signed the expert opinion, on the basis of which the National Broadcasting Council recognized TVN as a European entity. At the time, KRRiT analyzed the acquisition of TVN by the American company Scripps Networks Interactive. Today, the head of the National Broadcasting Council, Witold Kołodziejski, calls such an interpretation of the regulations fiction.
Wiercińska-Krużewska: the expertise confirms the position of most lawyers
Attorney Agnieszka Wiercińska-Krużewska, partner at WKB, said on TVN24 that “this really confirms the positions expressed by probably most lawyers dealing with media law”. – It results directly from the act – she emphasized.
– We have heard so far that in 2015 the National Broadcasting Council expressed this position, i.e. it did not in any way oppose the acquisition by a company controlled by an American company of an entity broadcasted by TVN in Poland, and even then I thought that such a position was The National Council should have been underpinned by some legal interpretation, that is, the National Council does not issue such positions without consulting its own legal department or external lawyers, she said.
She added that today’s information from “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna” confirms that “this position, this consent or the lack of objection to the change in TVN’s capital resulted from the interpretation of the law, i.e. the Broadcasting Act, which she believes is enough obviously it would be difficult to come to a different conclusion. ”
Wiercińska-Krużewska: in recent years, the issue of obtaining or extending the concession has not aroused controversy
Taking into account that less than a year ago, the National Broadcasting Council renewed the license of the terrestrial channel TTV, the direct licensee of which is TVN’s Stavka company, said that “this is probably why we started calling the prolonged discussion on the extension of the license for TVN24, or the proposed amendments to the act on radio and television, lex TVN “.
– So far, in recent years, i.e. from 2015, but also in the following years, when Discovery already controlled the TVN group, there was no controversy about obtaining or extending the license for broadcasting not only by news stations, but also by entertainment stations – she noted.
Taking into account that the current head of the National Broadcasting Council, Witold Kołodziejski, believes that the problem may have been noticed too late, Wiercińska-Krużewska said that “it is very surprising, especially when the statements of the KRRIT chairman are confronted with such a legal opinion, which is evidently in the archives of Krajowa Broadcasting Council is “.
She added that, therefore, full awareness on the part of the members of the National Broadcasting Council and its chairman must be. – This is not a surprising problem, so it is not something that suddenly, out of nowhere, it was noticed that a different interpretation should be – she said.
She added that “this interpretation was made in 2015”.
Anti-TVN project and license for TVN24
On July 7, a group of Law and Justice deputies submitted to the Sejm a draft amendment to the Broadcasting Act. “The will of the legislator is that companies based in Poland cannot be controlled by entities from outside the European Economic Area” – it was written in the justification. Commentators agree that the changes are aimed at TVN’s independence. During the session on July 27, the Parliamentary Culture and Media Committee adopted the draft amendment to the media law.
TVN24 is still waiting for the National Broadcasting Council to extend its license, which expires on September 26. An application for its extension was submitted in February 2020. KRRiT claims that the problem lies in the “ownership situation” of the TVN group.
The station’s management wrote in a statement that in 2015 the National Broadcasting Council accepted the entry of American capital into TVN. Since 2016 – under the same ownership conditions – KRRiT has already issued licenses for TVN24 BiS, TTV and TVN International West. Two votes in the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) have been held in recent days regarding the license for TVN24. However, no decisions were made.
TVN is owned by Discovery through its subsidiary Polish Television Holding BV in the Netherlands, and thus belonging to the European Economic Area
Main photo source: TVN24