The passage of a bill in Poland’s parliament that could jeopardize Discovery Inc.’s ownership of broadcast company TVN Group has drawn ire from the US-headquartered media company.
In August, a vote was held in the lower house of the Polish parliament to pass legislation banning upstream foreign media ownership in the country. At that time, Discovery decried the situation as “the latest assault on independent media and freedom of the press.”
Discovery acquired TVN as part of its acquisition of Scripps Interactive Networks in 2018. Scripps had completed its acquisition of TVN in 2015.
The law, dubbed the Lex-TVN Law, passed by the Polish parliament on Friday (Dec. 17) aims to block companies hailing from outside of the European Economic Area from owning controlling stakes in local media. As a result, Discovery could be required to sell at least half of its stake in TVN Group.
A statement issued this morning (Dec. 17) from the global content company read: “The outcome of today’s surprise vote in the Polish Parliament should alarm any enterprise investing in Poland and anyone who cares about democracy and freedom of the press. Through this vote, Poland undermines the values that have connected Poland with Europe, and uproots the foundation of the Polish-American relationship. We now appeal to the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, to keep his word and veto this legislation.”
Duda has 21 days to decide upon the bill’s fate.