No plans to close down TVN, ruling party leader says

Mateusz Marek/PAP

There are no plans to close down the TVN broadcaster, the leader of Poland's ruling party said on Monday when asked about a new media law said to be aimed against the US-owned station.

Under a proposed new media law operators from outside the European Economic Area would not be allowed to hold majority ownership in media in Poland. Critics of the bill, which could force TVN's US-based owner Discovery to resign control of the station, say it is a tool specifically aimed against the strongly government-critical broadcaster.

The law, which has been protested by the EU and the US, is currently awaiting signature by the president.

Asked about the matter by the Interia website, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's government party Law and Justice (PiS), said the law was not a step towards closing down TVN or changing the station's profile.

Kaczynski said the new regulations only aimed to bring order into the media and would not curb media freedom. He added that similar regulations existed in other EU countries.

"We don't want to shut TVN down, and neither do we expect it to become pro-government. We just don't see why Poland should have different laws in this respect... than other European countries," Kaczynski said.

A top presidential aide said on Monday that the president could decide about the law before the New Year.