06-03-2015

Polish Broadcasting Council Tightens Regulation of Foreign Ownership of Polish Broadcasters

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WARSAW: According to a new report commissioned and published by the Polish National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT), all buyers from outside of Europe who want to acquire a stake in Polish broadcasters need special approval to make a purchase. "This report is a signal to the industry on what our stand is in relation to the planned ownership changes on the television market" said Katarzyna Twardowska, the press officer of KRRiT.

The Radio and Television Act states that a company that wants to buy shares of a Polish station with a licence to broadcast needs to be monitored by KRRiT and get special approval for the purchase. This does not concern countries from the European Economic Area as well as Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein.

TVN Group, the owner of one of the largest private broadcasters, recently announced plans to sell its controlling stake. Time Warner, Discovery Communications and Bauer Group confirmed participation in the negotiations.

The report confirmed that buyers from countries outside Europe need a special agreement to buy shares and that the total foreign capital in companies that hold a licence to broadcast can't surpass 49%. KRRiT can also prohibit a transaction if the experts think that the purchase would somehow hurt the interests of national culture, safety and Poland's defence as well as the safety of crucial information that a broadcaster could have access to as a member of the media industry.