An extract from The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review, 11th Edition


i Regulation of media distribution generally

The granting of licences for the distribution of television programmes is regulated by the Broadcasting Act. Dissemination of radio and television programmes, with the exception of public radio and television programmes, requires a licence (Article 33(1) of the Broadcasting Act).

The transmission of television programme services exclusively in information and communication technology systems does not require a licence, unless the programme service is to be retransmitted by terrestrial diffusion, satellite or cable networks (Article 33(2) of the Broadcasting Act).

The Broadcasting Act does not provide for the necessity to obtain licences for entities providing on-demand audiovisual media services. However, a number of regulations to apply to the entity (Article 47a et seq. of the Broadcasting Act).

Outside the scope of the Broadcasting Act, there are other types of platforms – the provisions of the Act on the provision of services by electronic means shall apply to them.

On 14 September 2020, the draft bill implementing AVMS Directive 2018/1808 into Polish law was officially announced and submitted for public consultation.13 The draft bill aims to introduce the following amendments and modifications:

  1. a change in the rules for establishing jurisdiction over media service providers (the proposed changes concern two elements (i.e., clarification of the notion of 'editorial decisions' and clarification of which employees are important in determining jurisdiction of a media service provider);
  2. provisions on the competences and functioning of the National Broadcasting Council;
  3. information obligations of media service providers;
  4. rules for placement of commercial communications in media services;
  5. regulations concerning the protection of consumers, in particular minors;
  6. principles of promoting and supporting European creativity by media service providers;
  7. rules on making on-demand audiovisual media services more accessible to people with disabilities; and
  8. provisions concerning video-sharing platform services.
ii Internet-delivered video content

Video distribution in IPTV form can be divided into three categories: live web TV, time-shifted TV programmes and video on demand. Services of this type available in Poland are generally chargeable, therefore people who cannot afford to buy them do not have access to the presented content.

Radio programmes and digital terrestrial television (DVB-T) offer channels available to the general public without prior payment. However, Polish law requires relatively small monthly fees for the use of a radio or television receiver.

The Anti-Crisis Shield 3.014 introduced a previously announced amendment to the Cinematography Act. The list of entities obliged to pay a fee to the Polish Film Institute has been extended to include providers of VOD. The new regulation entered into force on 1 July 2020, while the fee itself should be paid on a quarterly basis, within 30 days of the end of the quarter.