Poland's broadcast regulator extends U.S.-owned broadcaster TV license

A logo of TVN24, a US-owned news channel, is pictured on a car parked in front of the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) building in Warsaw, Poland September 22, 2021. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's broadcasting regulator on Wednesday extended an operating license for the popular U.S.-owned, anti-government news channel TVN24, which critics say is a prime target in ruling party efforts to quash media freedom.

The license of TVN24, which is Poland's most popular news channel, was set to expire on Sept. 26. Its fate was uncertain after the lower house of parliament passed a bill last month to strengthen a ban on firms from outside the European Economic Area controlling Polish broadcasters.

TVN, the parent company of TVN24, has been owned by U.S. entities since 2015 via a firm registered in the European Union to adhere to the requirements of the ban on non-European firms owning more than 49% of Polish media.

Although the regulator extended the license on Wednesday, it also passed a resolution to ask the government for clearer legislation on the ownership question as well as legal clarification from the Constitutional Tribunal.

Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which is fighting to retain its majority in the lower house, has long argued that foreign-owned media distort public debate and do not serve Polish interests. Critics say the government only wants to control the media and curb free speech.

Since the party took office in 2015, Poland has dropped to 64th place from 18th on the World Media Freedom Index.

The opposition-led upper house of parliament rejected the media bill, but the leader of PiS signalled the party will try to overturn the rejection before the end of September.

(Reporting by Joanna Plucinska and Alicja Ptak; Editing by Chris Reese and Sonya Hepinstall)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

U.S. lawmakers express concern over reports of potential Turkey F-16 purchase
IS militants kills 11 in attack on Iraqi village - statement
Congo swears in election chief after disputed nomination
Brazil senators call for records of Bolsonaro's internet activity
Haiti crippled by fuel shortages as gang leader demands prime minister resign
U.S. announces international crackdown on DarkNet opioid trafficking
Poland to upgrade army using funding methods first deployed to fight COVID
Myanmar says absence from ASEAN summit due to "denial" of junta officials
Southeast Asian leaders rebuke Myanmar junta for summit no-show
Swedish death toll in COVID-19 pandemic passes 15,000

Others Also Read