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Ice hockey championships provoke TV dispute

THREE Slovak private TV stations, Markíza TV, JOJ, and TA3, have accused Slovak Television (STV), the country’s public station, of discrimination in the production of news from the Ice Hockey World Championships in Prague and Ostrava, the news wire SITA wrote.

STV has exclusive broadcasting rights on the territory of the Slovak Republic.

The International Ice Hockey Federation and the Championship Steering Committee did not grant accreditation to news teams from commercial Slovak TV companies at STV’s recommendation.

News staff at the Markíza TV, JOJ, and TA3 stations have no access to the ice hockey stadiums, the press centre, and other facilities. They can interview players, coaches, and officials only in public places.

“We are unable to prepare news programmes in a form that we would like to," said Peter Celec, editor in chief of the TA3 news department.

According to the representatives of all three stations, STV is violating the Law on Broadcasting and Re-transmission, which stipulates that the broadcaster that holds exclusive rights to broadcast an event is obliged to sell sublicenses to other broadcasters for the purposes of news programme production.

"STV is wrongly interpreting the term exclusivity. That applies to live transmissions and replays. In the area of news programmes we are all equal," said Klaudo Slančo, editor in chief of TV Markíza's sport programmes.

STV management member Branislav Záhradník said that STV was not in violation of the law by refusing to give commercial stations sublicenses for the World Championships.

"We are entitled to do what we are doing. It is an exclusive project for us and we are paying for exclusive rights; it is a very costly matter and it is logical that we do not want other stations to gain similar sublicenses," Zahradnik told SITA.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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