Polish list of major events accepted by the European Commission

On 21 November 2014 European Commission accepted a decision on Polish list of major events. The decision will shortly be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Previously, 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.

Two months later, on November 7 the Contact Committee for Audiovisual Service Directive adopted a positive opinion about the Polish list of major events in accordance with Article 14 paragraph 2 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive 2010/13/EU. The Contact Committee was established on the basis of Art. 29 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, as a specialized advisory group composed of representatives of the competent authorities of all Member States, acting at the European Commission and chaired by its representative.

Knowing the positive opinion of the Contact Committee, at its meeting on November 17 National Broadcasting Council adopted a regulation on the list of major events. The regulation will come into force after twelve months from the date of its announcement in the Journal of laws of the Republic of Poland.

When the regulation comes into force, television broadcasts of the events (mentioned in Article 20b paragraph 2 of the Broadcasting Act and in the National Broadcasting Council’s regulation from 17 November 2014) and the recipients’ rights  will be legally protected on the  territory of European Union. According to the Broadcasting Act, direct television transmission of the major events can be broadcasted only in the national channel free of any charges.

It should be reminded that, 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.

The regulation 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;
6)      The FIS Women's Cross-Country World Cup;
7)      The World Championships in Athletics.

The European Commission after careful and comprehensive analysis of the Polish list of major events and the national laws regarding the transmission of important events, confirmed compliance of the list with EU law.
Each of the events mentioned on the Polish list meets, in accordance with the requirements of EU law, at least two of the following qualification criteria:

- 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 recognized, 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.

In its decision European Commission emphasized that the regulation prepared by the National Broadcasting Council is compatible with Union competition rules. The definition of the qualifying broadcasters for the broadcasting of listed events is based on objective criteria, which allow actual and potential competition for the acquisition of the rights to broadcast these events.

Commission Decision of 21.11.2014


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