The TV Nova group has been giving rise to actions over illegal distribution of content via various repositories almost continuously. The damage caused by the illegal distribution of content amounts to hundreds of millions of crowns.

Nova TV Group is taking domestic repositories to court over the illegal distribution of content. It is waging a long-term battle against these platforms in an effort to protect its original content. The titles produced by Nova that are most often “pirated” include its flagship series Ulice, Ordinace v růžové zahradě 2, Zlatá labuť and the titles placed on its premium pay VOD platform, Voyo Original. “We invest a lot of money in original content, and illegal distribution devalues it,” points out Zdeňka Zimová, Nova’s chief lawyer. Nova’s experience shows that premiere content appears on repositories that do not have licensing agreements with Nova within hours of their release.

Several months ago, Nova filed a lawsuit against Ulož.to, the largest of the domestic repositories. The lawsuit is still pending, and according to Nova, the storage operator is doing everything it can to avoid liability in court (e.g. by changing the storage operator during the court proceedings, which is prolonging the process).

Even though an amendment to the Copyright Act came into force at the beginning of January 2023, which should give broadcasters greater protection against illegal distribution of content, they are still struggling with their content appearing on repositories. Under the Copyright Act, providers of content shared online must make their best efforts to obtain an appropriate licence for the protected content, to prevent the work from being accessed or to remove the content from their websites immediately upon notification from the rights holder of the content, while doing their best to prevent its re-upload. “The main problem is that the repositories claim that they are not covered by the amendment to the Copyright Act, formally changing to cloud storage, while we are convinced that they are subject to the Act,” says Zdeňka Zimová.
The Copyright Act does not classify cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive as online content providers. In order to avoid the amendment, existing repositories try to give the impression that they operate as cloud repositories. For example, content on Ulož.to is searched via the Gozo search engine, which is intended to evoke that content cannot be searched directly on Ulož.to. The only obligation the repositories are willing to accept is the deletion of specific reported links with protected content. But simply reporting specific objectionable links is not effective, according to Nova. “Even if the repository deletes the reported link, the same file with copyrighted content is uploaded to the repository again, which is a situation that is obviously convenient for the repositories because they place advertising next to the content,” Zdeňka Zimová describes the practice.

Nova will not only deal with Ulož.to in court but also with other services such as and others. “We are constantly filing complaints and motions for preliminary rulings and planning other activities but unfortunately, we are always one step behind because the repositories react to our calls and filings by redirecting their services to other websites, changing the operator to a company based in the Seychelles, etc.,” she says.

Hellspy and Hellshare have already left the market due to the new legislation. Last November, they agreed with the Association of Commercial Television (AKTV) to cooperate and adopted technical solutions that almost eliminated the appearance of copyright-protected works of AKTV members on their services. However, no similar agreement with other repositories is yet forthcoming, and according to Nova, the repositories refuse to apply similar technical solutions.

At the recent Digimedia 2023 conference, AKTV President, Klára Brachtlová, quantified the damage to content producers (broadcasters) caused by pirated content distribution at hundreds of millions of crowns. Exceptionally, the courts will stand up for the rights of broadcasters (the decision of the Regional Court in Ostrava this spring, which described the use of content distributed without a license as “impermissible parasitism and profiteering”). Overall, however, the courts are slow to act and the fight against pirated content is very time-consuming. According to Klára Brachtlová, inspiration can be found in Western Europe where repositories have been successfully dealt with, also thanks to the existence of the so-called shutdown authority, which in the case of copyright infringement allows, in the most extreme case, technical blocking of access to a website.



General Director of TV Nova Daniel Grunt and General Director of FTV Prima Marek Singer in an interview for Hospodářské noviny about levies to the cinema support fund, but also about SVOD services.

Marek Singer, the long-serving director of TV Prima, has known Daniel Grunt, the head of TV Nova, personally for 15 years. Both entered the TV business at the beginning of 2008. While Singer, an experienced manager of Unilever and Karlovy Vary Mineral Waters, took over the management of the TV duo, Daniel Grunt, seven years younger, became the director of TV Nova’s internet division. In the following years, their paths merged, with Grunt managing digital media within the Prima Group for nine years, making him one of Singer’s closest collaborators.

Today, they stand on the other side of the barricade, but they share more than enough common themes. For example, the government’s planned increase in the levy to the State Cinema Fund for streaming services.

Full interview in today’s issue of Hospodářské noviny.



The main commercial players state that the increased TV fee together with the extension of its payment to include all users of ČT services instead of only those having a TV set would bring imbalance in the market.

An increase in funding for Czech Television (ČT) through an increase in the television licence fee and other legislative changes that would redefine the television licence fee payer would, in the opinion of the largest commercial television groups, Nova and Prima, bring imbalance to the domestic television market. This was stated by TV Nova CEO, Daniel Grunt, and TV Prima CEO, Marek Singer, at Wednesday’s Digimedia 2023 conference.

The increase in the TV fee could be regulated by the “major media amendment”. However, it is questionable whether there will be political support for a fee increase. “We will see whether the opposition will block the law,” said Petr Dvořák, Czech Television’s CEO, at the conference. He told the participants that Czech Television’s estimates show that about 300,000 to 350,000 households do not pay the TV fee today, as they have stated in an affidavit that they do not own a TV set and thus do not use ČT services. If it were possible to change the definition of the licence fee payer to households that do not own a TV set but receive ČT services via digital platforms such as PCs or mobile phones, this would bring CZK 420 million per year to ČT’s budget.

Petr Dvořák described the proposal by ČT’s newly elected CEO, Jan Souček, that the fees should be paid by every household using electricity as a proposal made “long after the deadline”. If negotiations on the text of the amendment were to return to that point, the whole process would be significantly slowed down and the amendment would not be adopted until sometime around 2028, he said. On the other hand, he described the discussions on a new definition of a payer as advanced. It would basically build on the current definition and newly include users of ČT services on devices other than a TV set.

CEO of TV Nova, Daniel Grunt, said that a possible increase of the ČT fee to CZK 180 [the officially proposed sum is CZK 150, Ed.] from the current CZK 135 would bring Czech Television CZK 2 billion more together with the legislative redefinition of the fee payer. “This will create an uneven playing field for commercial players. ČT would have more in total than the commercial revenues of all commercial TV companies,” he said, adding that the public service function should be clearly defined.

Marek Singer, CEO of Prima Group, has also opposed the increase in TV fees. “Moreover, this does not mean that the CZK 2 billion increase will bring more new quality series and programmes. We are already competing for actors and writers and such an increase will only raise inflation on the market,” he added. At the same time, he believes that ČT would have to redefine the payer prospectively. And extending the definition to include users of ČT services on digital platforms would substantially solve the issue of ČT’s austerity scheme, he said. He therefore considers such a change “the least evil”, as he later clarified to

Czech Television and Czech Radio propose to increase the fee by CZK 15, i.e. to CZK 150 for ČT and CZK 60 for ČRo. As already mentioned, under the amendment to the Act on Television and Radio Fees, the fee should no longer be paid per TV or radio set, but the payer should be the one who uses the public service, i.e. including users of various internet platforms. At the same time, the principle of payment per household should be maintained.

According to Dvořák, the new definition of licence fee payers would mean an increase in the number of paying entities by 300,000 to 350,000. Together with the fee increase and the new method of calculating payment for companies, this would bring almost CZK 2 billion a year for ČT, while if the fee were increased by CZK 45, the annual benefit would be CZK 3.5 billion.



The latest example from Britain, but also other examples from Europe, show that piracy can be effectively detected but also condemned, writes Erika Luzsicza.

The British have cracked down on TV piracy in an exemplary way. They are setting the rules on how to deal with this type of crime. A group of five men who illegally streamed popular Premier League football matches were sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison. What may seem like a relatively trivial matter was actually a million-dollar business. The five were in fact selling access to watch at a rate of £10 per month. They made more than £7 million, or roughly £168 million. They managed to entice more than 50,000 subscribers and other resellers.

What is interesting is how the case was approached. The leader of the group was found guilty by the court of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and also contempt of court. Overall, these are the longest prison sentences for piracy ever handed down in Britain. As highlighted by lawyers for the Premier League itself, the prosecutions were brought to protect some of the world’s most valuable content.

Harsh sentences have been handed out in the past – such as in 2019, when a trio of men were tried for illegally providing streaming services to more than a thousand pubs and clubs. Together they will serve a total of 17 years in prison.

Similar cases have been on the rise in recent years, across Europe. They show that piracy can be effectively detected but also condemned. The damage is enormous. The Premier League itself points out that the sale of copyrights makes a significant financial contribution to the entire football pyramid.

At the same time, these reports help to motivate other countries on how they can approach piracy and, where possible, crack down.



Czech Television’s stations continued to record a market share of over 30% this May and achieved the highest market share in the universal group over 15 years of age.

Czech Television stations also had the highest share of the TV market in May. Cumulatively, they reached 30.47% in the all-day broadcasting in the over-15 age group. The Nova group recorded the highest share in May in the prime time 15+ and also in the 15-54 and 15-69 audience groups in both daytime and evening broadcasts. This is according to official ATO-Nielsen measurement data.

The Prima group posted a full-day share of 27.18% in 15+ for May, finishing third strongest behind the TV Nova and CT groups by a few tenths. The Nova group, Television Seznam and Atmedia stations improved the most year-on-year.

May is traditionally a strong month for the sports channel CT Sport. The best performers year-on-year were Television Seznam (1.5% share in May, 15+), thematic channels of the Prima group – Prima Krimi, CNN Prima News, which exceeded 2% share (2.06%, 15+) and Prima Zoom, thematic stations of the Nova group – Nova Gold, Nova Cinema and Nova Lady. Compared to last May, the channel CT2, the main channel CT1, the station CT art and the main channel TV Nova also increased their share.

The most watched programmes in May were the series Specialists (Nova), Televizni noviny (Nova), hockey broadcasts (CT sport) and the series ZOO (Prima) and Cases of Marty the Extraordinary (TV Nova).