Status, tasks and funding of public broadcasters


1. Public broadcaster status

The public broadcaster status is governed by Art. 26 and Art. 30 of the Act on radio and television broadcasting dated 29 December 1992 (Journal of Laws of 2004 No. 253, item 2531 as amended).

The public radio and television broadcasting entities operate exclusively as wholly-owned State Treasury joint-stock companies.

Pursuant to Art. 64 section 1 of the Act on radio and television broadcasting, the Minister of State Treasury has been obliged to establish:

1) "Telewizja Polska – Spółka Akcyjna" with its registered office in Warsaw, and its regional divisions;

2) "Polskie Radio – Spółka Akcyjna" with its registered office in Warsaw;

3) regional radio broadcasting companies with their offices in Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kielce, Krakow, Koszalin, Lublin, Łódź, Opole, Olsztyn, Poznań, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Warsaw, Wrocław and Zielona Góra.

The Minister of State Treasury, who has been obliged to establish joint-stock companies, has therefore the responsibility to set out the statutes of such companies in consultation with the KRRiT.

Pursuant to Art. 26 section 2 of the Act on radio and television broadcasting, Public Television is created by "Telewizja Polska – Spółka Akcyjna", which has been founded in order to create and distribute the national Programme I and II, TV Polonia and regional television programming.

Pursuant to Art. 30 section 1, the creation and distribution of regional public television programming is the responsibility of regional divisions of "Telewizja Polska – Spółka Akcyjna".

The regional divisions of Telewizja Polska S.A. have their offices in Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kielce, Krakow, Lublin, Łódź, Opole, Olsztyn, Poznań, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Warsaw and Wrocław.

Pursuant to Art. 26 section 3 of the Act on radio and television broadcasting, Public Radio is created by "Polskie Radio – Spółka Akcyjna", which has been founded in order to create and distribute national radio programming and programmes for foreign audiences, as well as by companies founded with the aim to create and distribute regional radio programming, which are referred to in the Act as regional radio broadcasting companies.

Pursuant to Art. 64 section 2 of the Act on radio and television broadcasting, "Polskie Radio – Spółka Akcyjna" has its registered office in Warsaw.

The regional radio broadcasting companies have their respective offices in Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kielce, Krakow, Koszalin, Lublin, Łódź, Opole, Olsztyn, Poznań, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Warsaw, Wrocław and Zielona Góra.

2. Responsibilities of public broadcasters

Pursuant to Art.21 section 1, the Public Radio and Television Broadcasting (publiczna radiofonia i telewizja) pursues a public mission and, subject to the conditions provided in the Act, it offers the entire community and its individual parts a variety of programmes and other services involving information, journalism, culture, entertainment, education and sport services which are characterised by pluralism, impartiality, balance and autonomy as well as innovation, high quality and integrity of the transmitted message.

As part of its mission, the Public Radio and Television Broadcasting is in particular responsible for:

1) creating and distributing national and regional programmes, programmes for foreign audiences in Polish and other languages as well as other programmes that address the democratic, social and cultural needs of local communities;

2) creating and distributing specialized programmes for which a concession was obtained;

3) construction and operation of radio and television broadcasting and relay stations;

4) dissemination of text communication;

5) working on new techniques of creating and distributing radio and television programmes;

6) production, service and commercial activity associated with audiovisual work, including export and import;

7) promotion of artistic and literary creation as well as the scientific and educational activity;

8) promotion of the Polish language knowledge;

9) taking into account the needs of national and ethnic minorities and communities using regional languages, including transmission of information programmes in languages of such national and ethnic minorities and in regional languages;

10) creation and making available of educational programmes for Polish immigrant communities and Polish nationals living abroad.

The public radio and television broadcasting programmes should:

1) exercise the sense of responsibility for the word, and show concern for the good name of the Public Radio and Television Broadcasting;

2) exercise reliability in presenting the entire variety of events and phenomena in Poland and abroad;

3) promote free shaping of views of the citizens and free forming of the public opinion;

4) enable participation in the public life of citizens and their organisations by means of presenting different views and stances and exercising the right of social control and critique;

5) serve the development of culture, science and education with particular focus on the Polish intellectual and artistic achievements;

6) respect Christian values while adopting universal ethical principles as the basis;

7) work for making the family stronger,

8) promote health-oriented attitudes;

9) work for counteracting social pathologies.

3. Financing of public broadcasters

Pursuant to Art. 1 of the Subscription Fees Act dated 21 April 2005 (Journal of Laws of 2005 No. 85, item 728 and No. 157, item 1314), subscription fees shall be collected in order to ensure that the public mission set forth in Art. 21 section 1 of the National Broadcasting Council Act dated 29 December 1992 can be pursued by public radio and television broadcasting entities.

The National Broadcasting Council determines annually, and not later than on or before 30 June, the allocation of the subscription fees paid in respect of using radio and television sets as well as receipts from sources other than subscription fees such as from default interest in respect of delayed subscription fee payment, penalties for using unregistered radio and television sets, default interest from Regional Polish Post Office Units in respect of delayed transfer of subscription fees, bank interest on the capital collected in a separate KRRiT’s account, to the public radio and television broadcasting entities for the following calendar year, including the minimum share of regional divisions of the companies referred to in Art. 26 sections 2 and 3 of the Act on radio and television broadcasting.

The abovementioned receipts, except for amounts deducted under Art. 6 section 2 of the Subscription Fees Act (the subscription fee receipts and default interest in respect of delayed payment of those fees shall be transferred by a public operator to a separate bank account of the National Broadcasting Council after deduction of the agreed charge due in respect of such services) and Art. 7 section 8 of the Subscription Fees Act (50% of the subscription fee collected for an unregistered radio or television set), are fully earmarked for the activity of public radio and television broadcasting entities.


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The National Broadcasting Council's Office

Skwer Ks. Kard. S. Wyszyńskiego 9, 01-015 Warsaw, Poland
tel: ( 48 22) 597 3000, fax (48 22) 597 3180

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