Major and in some instances controversial developments are currently taking place in Slovenia’s broadcast industry.
Earlier this week AT&T-backed Central European Media Enterprises (CME) announced that the closure of its sale to PPF Group should take place on Tuesday, October 13. This follows the European Commission’s clearance of the deal, which will see leading commercial broadcasters in five CEE markets, including Pop TV and Kanal A in Slovenia, come under the control of the global, Czech-owned investment group.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated but significant development, the Slovenian regulator AKOS issued a statement criticising a draft law which in its view is in conflict with several European directives and likely to impact negatively on both its powers and functioning.
The future of the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and Slovenian Press Agency (SPA) is also up in the air. In early July it was reported that the Ministry of Culture had prepared amendments to three pieces of legislation, namely on RTL Slovenija, STA and the Media Law. If implemented, they could see the public broadcaster required to operate under different conditions, including changed programming obligations and commercial airtime; shed 600 jobs; and suffer an annual loss of income of up to €13 million. At the same time, the government would have a greater say in the running of the SPA.
Fears about the threat to press freedom in Slovenia have been expressed by several international media bodies since a new coalition government took charge in March this year. While these have been dismissed by the authorities there is no doubt that important changes are now under way in the broadcast industry and they are likely to continue for some time to come.
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