The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage is working on amendments to the Polish Broadcasting Act. The bill prepared by the Ministry is currently subject to public consultations. Market players have a window of opportunity to make their voice heard and to affect the final wording of the bill. The deadline for the submission of opinions is 4th March 2015.

The amendments proposed in the bill include:

  • the introduction of the new category of occasional television channels, which may also includes “pay-per-view” services
  • a ban on advertising unhealthy food in shows for children below the age of 12
  • the introduction of detailed rules for broadcasting important events – meaning events of material importance for society - in free-to-view national channels
  • reducing the number of channels subject to the “must carry / must offer” obligation under the Polish Broadcasting Act and enabling the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) to decide if other channels should be also subject to this obligation
  • simplification of rules on obtaining satellite and cable broadcasting licences

The initiative to amend the Polish Broadcasting Act was undertaken as a result to the concerns repeatedly voiced by the European Commission in relation to Poland since 2013. However, the vast majority of the proposals have been tabled on the initiative of the authors of the bill.

The bill is available for review on the Ministry’s website.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is also worth noting that on February 9, 2015, the KRRiT published a legal analysis of the rules for trading of shares in the media market. The KRRiT took the opportunity to present its own stance on the issue, e.g. the, limitation on the acquisition of shareholdings by foreign companies, the interpretation of the premises for annulling a broadcasting license as a result of “another person taking over direct or indirect control of the broadcaster’s business” and the reporting requirements in connection with shareholding changes.

The analysis is available on the KRRiT’s website.