On 11 August 2021, the Polish parliament passed legislation amending the Broadcasting Act and Cinematography Act. The amendment is not related to the legislative proposal much publicized in recent months commonly known as Lex TVN, but nonetheless it has major implications for firms across the television market in Poland in the broad sense, including firms that have their seat in a different EU Member State. 

The amendment harmonizes Polish law with Directive (EU) 2018/1808 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 November 2018 amending Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) in view of changing market realities.

The changes made to the Broadcasting Act of 29 December 1992[1] of prime importance are:

  • updating of the legal framework to regulate video-sharing platforms,
  • a change to the criteria for establishing jurisdiction as regards media service providers,
  • introduction of a catalogue of on-demand audiovisual media services,
  • more precise rules on the powers and policies according to which the National Broadcasting Council operates, due to new legislation regulating video-sharing platforms and to other factors,
  • further disclosure obligations for media service providers,
  • revised rules on advertising in media services,
  • measures to provide greater protection for minors,
  • changes to rules on promotion and supporting of European works by media service providers,
  • broader obligations to make content in on-demand audiovisual media services accessible to people with disabilities.

Importantly, providers of on-demand audiovisual media services and providers of video-sharing platforms conducting business on the day on which the amendment takes effect are required to apply to be registered in the appropriate National Broadcasting Council register with three months of the amendment taking effect.  

Meanwhile, under the amendments to the Cinematography Act of 30 June 2005, television channel broadcasters with their seat in a different EU Member State will now be required to make payments to the Polish Film Institute[2] according to revenue generated in Poland. The payment will be 1.5 percent of revenue generated by commercial broadcasts or, if higher during a particular reference period, 1.5 percent of revenue from subscription fees charged to subscribers directly for access to broadcast channels. It is also worth recalling that under the Anticrisis Shield 3.0[3], providers of on-demand audiovisual media services, including those with their seat in a different EU Member State, are also required to forward that payment to the Polish Film Institute[4].

The President of Poland signed the amendment into law on 19 August 2021, thereby finalizing the legislative process. Most of the amendments will come into force on 1 November 2021.

[1] For more on this subject see the TKP newsletter Media Communication & Entertainment.

[2] Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej.

[3] Act of 14.05.2020 amending certain acts on measures to ease the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 875)

[4] For more on this subject see the TKP newsletter Media Communication & Entertainment.