Discovery’s Polish news channel TVN24 obtains Dutch license


WARSAW, Aug. 16 (Reuters) – Polish news channel TVN24 has been granted a Dutch broadcasting license which will allow it to remain on the air in Poland under European Union rules if its local license is not renewed, its parent company, US media group Discovery (DISCA.O), said Monday.

The license of Poland’s most popular news channel expires on September 26, but it is not clear whether it will receive an extension after the lower house of the Polish parliament passed a bill last week that would strengthen the ban on companies outside the European Economic Area controlling Poland. diffusers. Read more

This bill will now go to the upper house, the Senate.

“We have (…) applied for and obtained a Dutch license under EU regulations,” said Kasia Kieli, President of Discovery in the EMEA region, in a statement.

“In the event that the (Polish) National Broadcasting Council does not renew the TVN24 license … the Dutch license will allow us, in accordance with Polish and EU law, to continue broadcasting TVN24.”

Discovery announced Thursday that it has informed the Polish government that it will take legal action under the bilateral investment treaty between the United States and Poland, calling the non-renewal of Poland’s TVN24 license and the vote in parliament of “discriminatory”. Read more

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was “deeply troubled” by the passage of the bill, which seeks to prevent companies outside the European Economic Area from controlling media companies in Poland via vehicles based in the area.

Discovery owns 100% of TVN24 through Polish Television Holding, based in the Netherlands, in order to circumvent the ban on non-European companies from owning more than 49% of Polish media companies.

“This license does not in any way resolve the situation we have with the new law adopted by the government. The future of TVN and of press freedom in Poland is still in danger,” Kieli said.

“The rule of law and free media underpin any democracy, and we will continue to firmly defend TVN’s role as the country’s leading independent news provider.”

A government spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Alan Charlish; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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