TVN24, owned by American Discovery, wants to escape the consequences of the new Polish media law across the Netherlands.
Polish news channel TVN24 has obtained a Dutch broadcasting license. The popular broadcaster wants to prevent it from being removed by new Polish media legislation. Poland has not licensed TVN24, which is owned by the US Discovery Group and which is critical of the Polish government, for a year. Parliament also amended the media law last week This means that at least half of the media companies must be in European hands. This law is now before the Senate. According to the Polish government, an amendment to the media law is necessary to combat foreign influence through the media. Critics see it as a way to limit press freedom.
The news regarding the Dutch broadcasting license was announced on Monday by parent company Discovery, which is trying to be a step ahead of lawmakers through this juncture. The reason is that if the license is not renewed, TVN24 can continue broadcasting. Discovery also immediately criticized the impending media law in his statement. “This license in no way resolves the situation we are facing with the new law passed by the government,” said Discovery CEO Cassia Kelly. “The future of TVN and press freedom in Poland is still at stake.”
TVN24 now says it meets all legal requirements to extend the Polish license, which expires at the end of September. The channel therefore calls on Poland to grant this extension immediately. Parent company Discovery is also considering legal action against the Polish government. According to the media conglomerate, the new legislation violates the bilateral investment treaty with the United States.
Incidentally, it is not uncommon for media outlets to obtain a broadcasting license in a country other than the one from which they are actually broadcasting. Discovery has an office in the Netherlands and many of the group’s European channels have a license there.