13 AUG 2021

Discovery to take legal action against the Polish government

The company is planning to take legal action against the Polish government, after the lower house of parliament in Poland approved a bill that aims to ban non-European companies from owning controlling stakes in Polish media outlets.

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Discovery Inc. is planning to take legal action against the Polish government, accusing Warsaw of a "discriminatory campaign" against its TVN business, Euronews reported. The company’s announcement came a day after the lower house of parliament in Poland approved a bill that aims to ban non-European companies from owning controlling stakes in Polish media outlets.

In detail, Poland’s lower house of parliament passed legislation that - if implemented - will force the American company to sell more than 50% in its TVN unit. Moreover, Poland’s media regulator has for more than a year refused to renew the broadcasting license for Discovery’s TVN24 news channel, drawing accusations that the country was seeking to silence independent journalism.

The contentious draft law, which needs to be approved by the Senate and President Andrzej Duda, has been slammed by critics as an attack on press freedom. It is also viewed as an attempt by the government to silence the TVN channel, owned by Discovery, and whose new programmes watched daily by millions have been critical of the government.

“We are deeply committed to safeguarding our investment in Poland and its people, defending the public’s interest in independent media and the rights of freedom of expression. This legislation will have a chilling effect on US and European investment into the Polish economy, and we will aggressively defend our rights,”  said Jean-Briac Perrette, President and CEO of Discovery International.

We are deeply committed to safeguarding our investment in Poland and its people, defending the public’s interest in independent media and the rights of freedom of expression” Jean-Briac Perrette President and CEO of Discovery International