Final Word from Tuesday, March 2, 2004

What do higher banking fees at Česká spořitelna, Komerční banka and ČSOB have to do with efforts to ban advertising at Czech Television? TV Nova would be the main one to benefit from the ad ban, and it ran a critical news report last night about the higher bank fees. One angry customer said the hike at ČS is a "dirty trick," and another said he'll probably close his account. Ten minutes later, Nova ran one of its many (specially priced?) commercials for its sister company eBanka, which conveniently offers free banking. The message was clear: Switch to eBanka! It might be true that the Big Three banks have an oligopoly, but an ad ban at ČT would restrict competition even more. According to Strategie magazine, ad rates at TV Nova and TV Prima would likely rise, pricing some smaller players out of the TV ad market. But certainly not eBanka, Strategie added. PPF


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