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Discovery obtains Dutch license for Polish information station

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The U.S. firm Discovery Inc. stated Monday it has been granted a Dutch license that might enable it to maintain broadcasting its unbiased information channel TVN24 into Poland.

The announcement comes as Poland’s state broadcasting authority has for a yr and a half refused to resume TVN24’s license, which expires Sept. 26. The unbiased tv channel is watched by hundreds of thousands of individuals each day in Poland and has printed stories that criticize the nation’s right-wing nationalist authorities.

In one other problem for Discovery, the decrease home of Poland’s parliament gave preliminary approval final week to a invoice which — if it will get ultimate passage and the president’s approval — would power Discovery to promote its controlling share in its Polish community.

“This license doesn’t in any manner remedy the scenario we have now with the brand new legislation handed within the authorities,” stated Kasia Kieli, Discovery’s president and managing director for Europe, the Center East and Africa. “The way forward for TVN and freedom of press in Poland remains to be in danger.”

Discovery considers the refusal to resume TNV24’s license and the draft media invoice to be discriminatory, and many individuals in Poland view the efforts as an try and silence the information outlet.

The federal government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki denies that, saying it now not needs corporations from outdoors of Europe to have controlling stakes in Polish media corporations, citing nationwide safety and sovereignty points.

Nevertheless, President Andrzej Duda on Sunday vowed to defend freedom of speech and the ideas of property rights, feedback that have been extensively interpreted as him suggesting he plans to veto the laws.

The invoice has been condemned by the U.S, the European Union and lots of Poles as an assault on media freedom, and Poland faces worldwide strain to not go it. It is also seen as a risk to the most important ever U.S. funding in Poland, one the corporate values at $3 billion.

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The corporate stated would solely use the Dutch license, granted underneath European Union rules, if Poland’s nationwide broadcasting council doesn’t renew TNV24’s license.

“We hope to not want the Dutch license, however are deeply dedicated to persevering with to function as an unbiased information community in Poland and central Europe, and serving viewers with dependable and factual journalism,” Kieli stated.

Final week Discovery stated it had initiated a process towards Poland at a global arbitration courtroom to defend its funding in Poland, which now consists of 24 completely different tv channels.

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