KRRiT has submitted notification of a list of major events to the EC

23.09.2014
On 8 August 2014 the National Broadcasting Council, through the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union, submitted notification of a Polish list of major events to the European Commission, in accordance with Article 14 paragraph 2 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive 2010/13/EU. The list proposed in the notification includes both events defined in Article 20b of the Broadcasting Act as well as events defined in a draft regulation by the Council.
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In October 2012 work was begun in KRRiT by a Working Group to draw up a list of major events, which undertook to extend the list of major events as defined by Article 20b paragraph 1 of the Broadcasting Act, in accordance with the delegation resulting from Article 20b paragraph 3 of the Broadcasting Act.

The National Broadcasting Council sent initial inquiries to television broadcasters with terrestrial multiplex licences, as well as to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the Ministry of Administration and Digitisation, the Polish Olympic Committee and the National Chamber of Sport with the aim of determining which events should be included on the list.

After familiarizing itself with the responses sent as part of the consultations and analysing audience results, the National Broadcasting Council compiled a preliminary list proposal with the following EC qualification criteria, agreed on through the forum of the Contact Committee for the Audiovisual Media Services Directive:

- the event or its result has a special general resonance within the Member
State, and not simply a significance to those who ordinarily follow the sport or activity concerned,
- the event has a generally recognised, distinct cultural importance for the population in the Member
 State, in particular as a catalyst of cultural identity,
- the event involves the national team in the context of a competition or tournament of international
 importance,
- the event has traditionally been broadcast on free television and has commanded
 large television audiences in the Member State.

As defined by the Commission, major events should fulfil at least two of the above criteria.
To check fulfilment of the first criterion, sociological research was commissioned in the spring of 2013, entitled: "Analysis of the social resonance of selected events presented in the Polish national media", the results of which indicated that the events proposed in the plan had wide social resonance, not limited to the audience following television transmissions of such events.

After drafting the list, public consultations were begun on the National Broadcasting Council's website in June 2013. The following were also officially invited in writing for consultation: The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the Ministry of Administration and Digitisation, the Polish Olympic Committee, the Polish Consumer Federation, television broadcasters operating on multiplexes, owners of the transmission rights for events in the draft regulation as well as sports editorial staff and journalists.

The directive which was put together following the consultations and notified to the European Commission includes the following events:

1)      Polish national team matches in world and European championships for women's
          and men's volleyball, including elimination matches;
2)      FIVB Volleyball World League competitions played in Poland;
3)      Men's handball world and European championships semi-finals and finals, as well as all
         other matches of these events in which the Polish national team takes part, including
         elimination matches;
4)      The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships;
5)      The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup;
5)      The FIS Women's Cross-Country World Cup;
7)      The World Championships in Athletics.

In accordance with the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, the European Commission checks the compliance of the list of major events with EU law. Within three months of notification, the Commission verifies whether it is in accordance with EU law and informs other Member States of the list. It also immediately publishes appropriate information in the Official Journal of the European Union, and publishes a general list concerning Member States at least once a year. The 12-month period of vacatio legis is the result of a European Commission recommendation, arising out of concern for protecting acquired rights.

In accordance with Article 20b paragraph 2 of the Broadcasting Act, the list of major events currently includes:

1)     The Summer and Winter Olympic Games;
2)     semi-finals and finals of world and European football championships, as well as all
        other matches of these events in which the Polish national team takes part, including
        elimination matches;
3)     other Polish national football team matches in official tournaments as well as
        Champion's League and UEFA Cup matches in which Polish clubs take part.

It should be emphasized, however, that the placement of a specific event of fundamental social importance on the list of major events does not indicate an absolute ban on broadcasting such an event within a pay television programme. Direct transmission on a television channel which is not national and is not available free of charge is possible, but only when conditions specified by law and which are subject to regulatory inspection have been fulfilled.

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

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