Final Word from Friday, June 24, 2005

CEO Michael Garin of CME told the Prague Post and MFD that digital television broadcasting in the CR is a fraud. Digital TV only works in very rich countries where the population can afford the cost, he said. Only existing stations will benefit, he added. This is the best argument anyone could give for rejecting the bill in Parliament that would shift Kč 1bn in ad revenue from Czech TV to commercial TV stations, under the guise of promoting digitalization. The bill's sponsors say the ad money would flow to digital startups, but even TV Nova's owner admits that this isn't true. This is a stunning admission, given that parliamentary backers of the ad ban at Czech TV said on Czech Radio this week that TV Nova, TV Prima and Czech TV got together and wrote the bill in question. This digitalization "fraud" cartel by the three TV stations seems a clear issue for the antitrust office. [Czech Republic Central European Media Enterprises CETV advertising MF Dnes competition]


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