Two votes were held on Thursday regarding the license for TVN24, Teresa Brykczyńska, spokesman for KRRIT, informed. – There are no decisions so far – informed. 66 days remain until the expiry of the current TVN24 broadcasting license. The National Broadcasting Council has been dealing with the application for the extension of the license for 17 months.
Group of Members Law and Justice she brought it to the Sejm late in the evening on July 7 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. TVN24 is still waiting for the extension of the license by the National Broadcasting Council. The license 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.
TVN24 is still waiting for the extension of the license by the National Broadcasting Council. The license expires on September 26, that is in 66 days.
Two votes on the license for TVN24
The spokesman of the National Broadcasting Council, Teresa Brykczyńska, spoke about the license issue for TVN24 on Thursday. She said that “the National Council has been dealing with this process for a long time, because the proceedings have been going on for a long time”. – Today, two votes took place again. Unfortunately, one to grant a license, the other to refuse it. Unfortunately, none of these concepts gained the majority – she said. “There are no decisions so far,” she added.
Teresa Brykczyńska explained that the concession was therefore neither granted nor “withdrawn”. She added that an absolute majority is needed to make a decision.
When asked about the results of the vote, the spokesman of the National Broadcasting Council stated that “only the vote of the chairman was” in favor of “re-granting the license” [Witolda Kołodziejskiego – przyp. red.]and there were two votes “for” and three “against” against it. “It wasn’t clear-cut,” she summed up.
She assured that “the deadline must be kept”, which means that the National Broadcasting Council must make a decision by September 26. Answering the question “what next?” She replied that the members of the council would now “convince each other of their arguments”.
“The lawyers’ opinions are taken into account each time,” she said. She noted that the legal opinions held by the National Broadcasting Council are “sufficient”, hence the Council will not request further ones.
Doubts concern “ownership relations”
Asked about the doubts of those members of the National Broadcasting Council who voted against the renewal of the TVN24 license, Brykczyńska explained that “everything concerns property relations”. – I think it’s quite important. There must be compliance with the law, she said, recalling article 35 of the law. about radio and television
1. The concession may be granted to a natural person having Polish citizenship and permanent residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland, a legal person or a commercial partnership established in the territory of the Republic of Poland. 2. A concession for a company with foreign participation may be granted if: 1) the capital share of foreign persons in the company or the share of foreign persons in the share capital of a limited liability company or joint-stock company, and in the case of a simple joint-stock company – in the total number of shares of this company does not exceed 49%; 2) the articles of association or the articles of association stipulate that: a) the majority of persons authorized to represent or manage the company’s affairs or members of the company’s management board will be persons having Polish citizenship and permanent residence in Poland, b) share of votes in the shareholders’ meeting or the general meeting foreign persons and subsidiaries, within the meaning of the Code of Commercial Companies, from foreign persons may not exceed 49%, c) foreign persons cannot directly or indirectly have a majority exceeding 49% of votes in a commercial partnership, d) the majority of members of the supervisory board of the company will be with Polish citizenship and permanent residence in Poland. 3. The concession may also be granted to: 1) a foreign person or 2) a subsidiary, within the meaning of the Code of Commercial Companies, from a foreign person – whose registered office or permanent residence is in a Member State of the European Economic Area – without applying the restrictions contained in sec. 2.
KRRiT spokesman: the regulations need to be clarified quite significantly
As a reminder that the National Broadcasting Council has already granted TVN24 licenses on the basis of the same regulations, the spokesman of the National Broadcasting Council replied: – These regulations are ambiguous. There are shortcomings, they need to be specified quite a bit.
Since 2016 – under the same ownership conditions – KRRiT has already issued licenses for TVN24 BiS, TTV and TVN International West. Brykczyńska, when asked about this fact, replied: – Ask the members of the National Council about it. I cannot speak for them.
When asked whether the National Broadcasting Council would now wait for the media law, the spokesman stated that “it is difficult to decide here”. – We have a deadline in this case. At the same time, work is underway to amend the act. It is hardly surprising that it takes so long.
Main photo source: Shutterstock