TVN granted Dutch broadcasting licence

Jacek Turczyk/PAP

US-owned Polish TV station TVN has been granted a Dutch broadcasting licence, the company's management board has announced.

TVN’s management added that if the Polish state media regulator KRRiT fails to issue a decision on the extension of a licence for its news channel, TVN24, by September 26, the station will be able to continue broadcasting under its Dutch licence, according to Polish and EU law.

TVN24 has been striving to renew its licence, which expires on September 26, since February 2020.

The network, according to government critics, has also been the target of a recently-passed media law amendment limiting ownership of Polish media companies to entities based in the European Economic Area owing to its critical coverage of the government.

"The most important mission of TVN24 is to provide viewers with constant access to independent, fact-based and verified information," TVN wrote in a statement. "Considering the unjustified suspension of the decision on the renewal of the TVN24 licence by the National Broadcasting Council for one and a half years, we must be ready for any eventuality. Therefore, in July this year, a Dutch broadcasting licence was applied for and has been granted. If the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) does not issue a decision to extend the TVN24 licence by September 26, further broadcasting will be possible, in accordance with Polish and EU law, by the Dutch licence. However, we still believe that we will not be forced to take advantage of it. We meet all the conditions to obtain a licence in Poland, so we appeal for it to be granted immediately."

TVN went on to "emphatically emphasise" that "obtaining a licence for the TVN24 channel in the Netherlands in no way solves the problem we are dealing with in connection with the amendment to the Act on Radio and Television passed by the Sejm (lower house of parliament - PAP). In its present shape, it hits all our channels, including TVN, undermining freedom of speech, media independence and private property. We again urge the authorities to reject this harmful amendment. We are also fully determined to defend the right of our viewers and all Poles to free media and free choice."