Final Word from Thursday, September 25, 2003

Jiří Šmejc of TV Nova told the Czech BBC yesterday that the true ownership structure of the televison station should be reflected in the commercial registry within about a year. He added, though, that PPF and MEF (Nova Holding) are convinced they have the documentation to prove that they're the majority owners, although the registry doesn't yet reflect this. Outsiders can't possibly make sense of the ownership structure. Until the courts decide on the various legal claims pending, it won't be clear who owns Nova. Twice in the past, ownership or financial disputes have prompted advertisers to redirect payments away from Nova's accounts. Major advertisers might again consider the option of an escrow account, not only as a tactic in their battle with TV Nova over ad rates, but also as protection against possible future claims by the legal owners.


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