In June, the government will be submitted a bill to increase TV fees. “They should not be increased before the state says what kind of public service it expects,” says Pavel Kubina, Director for Media Law Issues at Prima Group.

Last autumn, the Ministry of Culture announced that it wanted to increase television and radio fees. At the same time, it wanted to expand the range of payers. The entire private media sector vociferously opposed the first version of the amendment. The Ministry then invited representatives of commercial media to join working groups to discuss the law with them.

After half a year, a second version was prepared, and it is described in detail in this article. According to the second version, the public service is to be specified in a special memorandum concluded between Česká televize (Czech Television), Český rozhlas (Czech Radio) and the Ministry. At the same time, the law will restrict the broadcasting of sponsorship messages on Czech Television. The amendment is expected to be approved by the government in June, passed to the Chamber of Deputies in July, and come into force at the beginning of 2025.

Pavel Kubina, Director for Media Law Issues at the Prima Group, points out that there are still many gaps in the amendment.

How do you assess the current wording of the major media amendment compared to the autumn version?

Compared to the autumn, there are some partial improvements in the proposal. But the basic problem has not disappeared: the ministry is building a house from the roof down. European state aid law clearly obliges Member States to make the definition of a public service as precise as possible. This is not the case with the amendment where the Ministry refused to modify the current elastic and unspecific clauses defining public service in the Czech Television and Czech Radio Acts. The Ministry has admitted that a memorandum will be adopted, but this will not see the light of day until six months after the fees have been increased. This seems to us to be very illogical. First, the fees are increased and then it is established what a public service is. That does not make sense.

The law probably cannot be completely specific by its nature, it always just sets boundaries. Isn’t a memorandum an elegant solution?

In terms of state aid, this is also a legal problem. If the European Commission were to investigate it, it would not be able to say whether the money would be spent on a public service or something else. We have proposed that what the law can bear should be in the law and the rest should be in the binding rules for the performance of the public service. We wanted the binding rules to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies, just as the Code of Conduct of Czech Television is approved. In some respects, the Minister’s proposal is similar. We agree that a more detailed definition of the public service should be in another document, not in a law. However, we disagree with the Ministry on whether what is in the law today is sufficient. We think that something should be added and that the existing sections defining the public service simply have to be adjusted.

When introducing the amendment, the Minister of Culture said that the existing 1991 definition was still sufficient. In what way do you think it is ‘elastic’?

I will give you two examples. The law sets out what the main public service tasks are in the field of television or radio broadcasting. However, the list of the tasks is preceded by the phrase ‘in particular’. This implies that there are some other tasks, both major and minor, but nobody knows which they are. So, it is not clear what activities of Czech Television or Czech Radio are included in a public service. That is the problem. Another such problem is multimedia content. Both institutions can create multimedia content according to their laws. In Europe, it is usual that there is some kind of specification of what television and radio can do as public services and what they may not do. There is nothing in our law about that, just all multimedia content.

Is it supposed to be in the law? As far as I know, in neighbouring Germany it is regulated by an interstate treaty, for example, restricting sports content on the internet.

In practice, however, the treaty acts like a law in Germany. I think there is even a negative list in the annex of what the civil service must not do. We feel that in our country, Sections 2, 3, and 3a of the Czech Television Act need to be improved. In our view, the current wording does not stand up in the light of European law, and we and the Ministry have different opinions on this. We agree on the existence of another document to be adopted for five years that would specify in more detail what the public service should do. We still have some problems with the way the memorandum is to be drafted, whether it will be binding on Czech Television and Czech Radio at all, and how its final content is to be linked to the level of the fee.

Let me remind you that the draft memorandum is to be drawn up by the CEO of Czech Television or Czech Radio, then approved by the respective Councils and signed by the Minister of Culture. The ministry is making it clear that the state does not want to have any say in the content. Why is this wrong?

It is exactly the opposite of how it should be. It is the task of each state to actively define what it wants as a public service, and what it demands. The ministry cannot sit back and pretend that the actors can sort it out among themselves. That is the state’s task. It is the guarantor of media legislation and creates state demand. It has to say what we want as a public service in the Czech Republic. As a result of the construction that has been proposed by the Ministry, the fees are independent of the memorandum. Moreover, it is not at all certain that the memorandum will come into being.

Is there no enforcement instrument in the amendment for the memorandum to be adopted?

What happens if the CEO of Czech Television does not sign it, or if the Minister of Culture does not sign it, or if the Council does not approve it? There will be no memorandum. So, what is all the fuss for then? The requirement under European law to define the public service as precisely as possible exists so that commercial media have an idea of what a public service will be and can plan accordingly. We wanted the law to at least enshrine the right of media associations to be present at the negotiation of the memorandum, and the Deputy Minister of Culture, Michal Šašek, has been positive about this, so we hope that this will be reflected in the final text of the draft amendment.

If the fee provisions are delayed until after the memorandum is approved, would that be more feasible for you?

Definitely. We do not think that there should be an increase in fees before the memorandum. And the fees should reflect what will be in the memorandum. It must first be clear what the public service is, and then it should be decided what the necessary budget for the service is.

Commercial media were concerned in the autumn that the fee increase would upset the market balance. The ministry says that the redrafted amendment will bring Czech Television about CZK 865 million, plus it will remain exempt from VAT deduction. What do you think about these provisions?

We have never seen the calculation, so we do not know how the Ministry arrived at these figures. The method of calculation has never been made clear to us. In our internal calculations, the amounts were much higher. It would have been right for the Ministry to put its calculation somewhere on display and subject it to public debate.

In addition to fee income, the amendment also addresses income from commercial communications. It leaves advertising as it was, but limits sponsorship to a maximum of 260 hours per year. Has this alleviated your concerns?

Although the amendment provides for a limitation of the overall scope of sponsorship messages on Czech Television programmes (which does not necessarily imply a change in revenue), it does not in any way regulate the transfer of the volume of sponsorship messages between individual programmes. We, therefore, propose that a maximum limit be set for sponsorship on individual programmes.

You have also commented on commercial communications on the internet. If I understand the Ministry’s representatives correctly, they will restrict them so that nothing can be included in programmes produced for the internet, and archived programmes can only keep what cannot be separated from them, such as product placement. What is your position on this new regulation?

It is difficult to answer because the Ministry has declared what you say, but the final text it has produced is different. It says that there should be no limit at all on commercial communications in on-demand audiovisual media services, whether on the internet or apps. It would give Czech Television a free hand to put anything on on-demand services, not only product placement or sponsorship but also advertising specifically on these services. We hope that the Ministry will correct this in the amendment. We have the idea that on-demand services could include product placement in shows that have been on television or production sponsorship announcements, but no advertising.

But the ministry has repeatedly assured that it does not want to distort the market. It only seeks to ensure sustainable funding and a new public service model. Do you still see anything there that threatens the commercial sector?

We find this sequence of considerations dangerous, money first and then thinking about what the public service should produce. As it is now, the public service media are a self-defining machine. And unfortunately, that is to continue under the Minister’s proposal.

So should the public service definition go, for example, in the direction of not being allowed to broadcast certain types of sporting events or entertainment?

Yes, or setting a limit for such events. What we want is for the principle of complementarity to what commercial stations produce to be enacted in some way. That is the very purpose of the public service: to plug the gaps that the market will not cover and to serve those audience segments for which there is insufficient supply elsewhere. I am not saying this is the only purpose, but the primary one. And it should be included in the memorandum in some form.

I have read a number of foreign memoranda and laws. They differ in parts, but it repeatedly appears in the definitions that public service should be universal and address the entire spectrum of the population regardless of age, education, or other parameters. If it is supposed to reach the whole society that pays for it, can anything be cut off from it?

There is no requirement in international or EU law for a public service to be universal. I do not dispute that it could be so in the Czech Republic, but it is not a legal obligation. Each state has the right to define what it considers to be a public service as it wishes. Universally or not.

I don’t know any state not treating public service universally.

Even if the state conceives of a public service in universal terms, this does not mean that it cannot set priorities or, on the contrary, limits on something within its framework. It is simply up to the state to decide. There are even states that do not have a public service broadcaster at all. But I would like to stress that we have always been and still are in favour of a dual system. We are in favour of public service media being strong. The problem starts when support for them should be boundless and should not take into account the rest of the media ecosystem. We don’t want any systemic change, just what we are entitled to, which is the most “accurate” definition of public service.

The amendment does not directly specify what the memorandum should look like and what it should contain. What should it contain to keep the dual system fair in the eyes of commercial entities?

We have drafted our proposal for binding rules for the performance of public service, which we have sent to the Ministry and Czech Television. For example, we proposed that there should be a minimum proportion of the total broadcasting time that Czech Television would devote to topics and genres taking into account the needs and interests of small target groups. Or that regional news would be given a percentage of the airtime of the main news programmes. Or that, except for the Olympic Games, Czech Television should not compete with private TV stations for the rights to commercial sports competitions.

 TV Prima’s draft proposal for binding public service rules (PDF)

Did you take inspiration from abroad?

There were a few models from the EU, but it was more of a loose inspiration. Our proposal responds to the situation in the Czech media market.

You mentioned the European rules on state aid. Is it possible to say in simple terms how the media amendment can be controversial from this point of view?

First, the margin of increase over the current level is substantial. This in itself may determine whether an obligation to notify the European Commission arises. Then there are other circumstances that may trigger the obligation even if the threshold is not exceeded. Someone should deal with this honestly so that this problem does not arise.

What would you say about funding a public service with an across-the-board fee or a share of the taxes collected?

In some countries, they have a flat fee or a certain share of the taxes collected, but there are commissions that assess the public service and the current market situation and say how much money the public service media should get from the funds collected. That may correct the flat rate a little bit.



Media Club has expanded its inventory for video advertising sales to include Canal+. It brings sports content as well as quality of reach, says Petr Hatlapatka.

Since the beginning of May, Representation Media Club’s advertising space has expanded to include Canal+ content in video advertising. The video ad appears on the back of Canal+ Sport TV shows with coverage of the English Premier League, WTA, World Padel Tour, Rugby League Top 14 and Canal+ Action shows. According to Petr Hatlapatka, commercial director of the Media Club’s online division, Canal+ brings sports content that was previously missing from the agency’s offering, as well as quality impressions. “In the last year to year-and-a-half, we’ve seen advertisers place more and more emphasis on the quality of the environment they associate with in video advertising,” he says. In the interview, he also describes how Media Club plans to continue to increase its capacity in video advertising.

Media Club recently announced the addition of Canal+ to its portfolio of represented online projects. In what ways have you incorporated Canal+ into sales?

We have included Canal+ content in our entire video advertising package since the beginning of May and are now waiting for the first monthly numbers. Depending on performance, we will then include Canal+ in individual offers. Canal+ has primarily sports content, exclusively broadcasting the English Premier League, and it’s also the first time for us that Media Club is getting into sports. We consider it to be premium content, so we plan to include it in individual offers for those clients who want to connect with this type of content. Plus, we see that it’s long-form content that people sit and watch and the ads don’t skip. Media Club’s inventory continues to improve as a result.

What are your expectations in terms of the yield of Canal+ Sport? How many impressions can it achieve per month?

We are waiting for the first results and have only implemented the first part so far. We will deploy the next part of the ad space with video advertising gradually, so the ramp-up of the whole inventory will be gradual. In addition to Canal+ Sport, we are also integrating Canal+ Action cinema. For us, the main thing is that we are expanding the video advertising space and also improving its quality. We can see from the reactions of clients and media agencies that the quality of the video advertising environment has been addressed more intensively in the last year or year and a half.

Turning to Canal+ Sport, what options do clients have when buying video advertising?

The options are the same as for our other video channels, so you can buy advertising for standard positions. These are standard pre-roll, midroll and post-roll. Right now, primarily on Canal+ Sport inventory we sell pre-roll, but in general it’s more about selling the whole package rather than individual formats or positions.

So by when will the space on Canal+ stations be fully integrated into the Media Club offering? Can you make the autumn season?

Yes, we estimate full deployment within two to three months. For autumn trading, every impression – and one of this quality at that – is important to us.

Not only does the inclusion of Canal+ broaden your focus to include sports content, but it is another offering from a streaming service operator alongside your home online on-demand service Prima+. Is it realistic that another similar service will appear in Media Club’s portfolio?

We are certainly interested in such a possibility to expand our portfolio and we are looking around the market. We are in talks with other online service providers, but we are not at a stage where we can say that a deal will happen.

However, we are pushing a lot for the implementation of videoinvetory with IPTV operators, so we can expand its offer. We already have a deal with BetterTV from earlier and we have recently completed an implementation with SledováníTV, which is a mid-sized IPTV operator. As a result, we have seen a significant increase in online inventory in the last month as the operator has completed implementations on set-top boxes and smart TVs. This has expanded the possibilities of video advertising engagement that were previously only on PCs, laptops and mobiles. These devices are still critical for video advertising, but viewership of video content via smart TVs is increasing, so this is an important step for us. Unfortunately, we can’t influence or speed up the implementation from our side, that’s up to the operators. Our advertising system has one standard that is applied to all devices.

We are pushing for the implementation of video adverts by IPTV operators, so we can expand its offer.

The first quarter is already closed. How do you assess the video advertising business in the first three months of this year compared to last year?

We were significantly better than last year in the first quarter this year. But it’s the result of several things, it’s not just one factor. The comparison is also affected by our acquisition of Impression Media, which boosts the result. For several months after the acquisition, we have been aligning formats and creating new advertising products, which we have offered since the new year. But even if we add up the money for Media Club and Impression Media separately, the result is also significantly higher than last year.

Which means double-digit growth?

Yes, it does.

And to what do you attribute this?

With the acquisition, we moved up to second place in NetMonitor’s total traffic data in the first quarter, just behind At the same time, we’ve been growing our sales teams since last summer, and our expanded advertising capabilities have helped us communicate towards our clients. The acquisition has also increased the reach of our packages. Even so, we have occasionally run into inventory opportunities where demand has exceeded our capacity, not only in video advertising but also in display advertising. But it was the acquisition of Impression Media that helped us increase our space in display advertising.

The capacity you have increased through acquisitions, will you now sell out the entire capacity?

It varies, but for example, for a package that targets the car segment and which includes 5 to 6 sites, we struggle with selling out. Therefore, clients who want to advertise on the most sold formats are advised that they need to book in advance. However, it’s not that we are completely sold out on the entire package. For example, the female segment has significantly more advertising space.

Assume that video advertising is a supporting part of your overall online advertising sales.

Video advertising makes up about 60% of total sales.

And do you see video advertising’s share of total sales continuing to increase?

Not anymore, it’s more likely to decrease, but that’s again a result of how our offering has profiled. Media Club has historically been strong in video advertising, but hasn’t had that kind of offering in display. The acquisition of Impression Media helped us especially in display. So budgets that we couldn’t have before are now opportunities for us to increase revenue. This will affect the overall revenue structure, where we expect to grow as a whole and we expect to see a higher percentage of revenue growth in display advertising. However, we will still stand out in the market as a player that has significantly more from video advertising compared to the rest of the market.

Budgets that we couldn’t have before are opportunities for us to increase revenue. This will affect the overall revenue structure.

Media Club has also incorporated electronic GRPs into TV ad sales. Where do you stand in terms of overall sales of GRP’s?

They are doing well, but we would need more inventory in video. Canal+ content can help us with that and we are trying to expand inventory. It is possible that we will add deals with other IPTV operators, as this is where we expect the biggest jumps in total inventory offered.

The question is whether they have the motivation to implement something like this…

But it brings them money. We share some of the revenue from video ad sales with operators, so it’s not like we’re not offering operators anything in return.

Do the GRPs you get from IPTV back-viewing count towards TV sales in terms of overall results?

These GRPs are loaded into TV numbers between 0-3 days from the time of airing, so media agencies can see in the Kite software how much fulfilment they have run off in the backhaul, called time shift.

And what is the average incremental hit rate of GRP campaigns in online to TV?

It’s around 5%. But it depends on what type of campaign it is and what kind of client it’s being run for. If the TV campaign is strong, the additional reach of onlin GRPs is less than 5% and vice versa.

Media Club has also been using artificial intelligence for campaign planning for some time now, and you also intend to reach viewers with real-time advertising on HbbTV. How exactly does this work?

We are still testing artificial intelligence in this case. The goal is to have the content tagged so that it can be targeted, so that we can show the ad to viewers at the right time, at what we call the ‘shoppable moment’. For example, it describes that a romantic scene is taking place in a given show, and this allows us to better position the ad according to the topic and insert it as close to the scene that is most relevant to the brand as possible. Plus, with AI, we can keep an eye not only on one scene in one episode, but also on similar scenes in other episodes. Yes, it’s still an add-on to campaigns, but we can move the brand as close as possible to the content it wants to connect with.

Is it mostly contextual targeting, or is it socio-demographic as well?

Both types of targeting can be combined. We draw sociodemographic data from ATO-Nielsen measurement and it’s the targeting that media agencies and clients are used to. The other thing is contextual targeting, which works similarly on the internet and we are extending it to TV screens in HbbTV broadcasts thanks to AI.

We are extending contextual targeting to TV screens in HbbTV broadcasts thanks to AI.

What about live deployment? When will you use AI for spot placement in video advertising?

We are just testing the tool, but we want to bring it to life soon. I can’t give a date yet.

So can it only be used in HbbTV broadcasts, not in linear?

The AI will tag all content in linear and onliner, but implementation is only possible in onliner for now, where different ads can be deployed on each TV according to affinity targeting by sociodemographics or context at the same time. Since more than half of the Czech population receives the TV signal via antenna, contextual targeting cannot be used on these screens. In the future, we expect that the possibilities of extending contextual targeting will be technologically possible for IPTV operators. But implementation may be challenging and complicated.

Towards the future, there is talk of new standards in DTT and a standard that should also allow for personalisation of advertising in linear broadcasting. Is this something that may come or is it more of a theoretical idea?

It is hard to say. We are watching the market evolve. Covid has helped IPTV develop faster, but that hasn’t affected the reach level of terrestrial broadcasting. Connected TV, in my opinion, is the closest to our IPTV operators. But in the UK, for example, TV reception works differently because terrestrial reception is less there and most TVs are connected to the internet. Czechs are used to having a terrestrial signal and I don’t think that will change fundamentally.

Half of the people have terrestrials and of the remaining half, some people use satellite. So IPTV is the primary source of reception for about 30-40% of the TV population, where CTV technology or ad personalisation can be used. Due to this situation, these advertising technologies can only be used on a smaller part of the TV population and this is not an ideal solution.

Petr Hatlapatka, Online Sales Director, Media Club

Petr has been Head of Online Sales at Media Club since July 2015. Before that, he worked for almost a year and a half as a sales consultant for Prima Online. Before joining Prima, he worked for more than four years as a group manager at Mladá fronta publishing house. He also gained experience for several years at Centrum Holdings.



A man (64) from Horní Bříza in the Pilsen region lost two and a half million crowns. He posted films on the internet, where people downloaded them. He received money for this. Yesterday, the Plzeň-North District Court sentenced him to four years’ probation.

It all started in 2014. Stanislav Řežábek was taking care of his sick mother, so he stopped going to work. When she died, he stopped working and started downloading films on the internet. “In eight years, there were 89,000 of them,” said prosecutor Marie Čechová. Řežábek then posted the works on servers from which people downloaded them. For each download, he received money from the companies that owned the servers. In total, he earned CZK 2.5 million. He had an average of CZK 24,500 a month, so he spent the money a long time ago.

He confessed to everything before the criminal chamber. “I’m sorry. If I knew I was doing something wrong, I wouldn’t have done it,” he confessed.

After the four-year probation was handed down, Řežábek was relieved and showed that he was satisfied. He accepted the sentence immediately. The prosecutor also did not appeal, so the sentence is final.

“The mitigating circumstances for him were that he had no criminal record, he pleaded guilty, he admitted the crime. He stopped committing it 2.5 years ago and has been leading an orderly life ever since. He was aggravated by the fact that he had committed a large-scale crime and had been doing it for a long time,” said Radek Vydra, president of the chamber. The court punished Řežábek for violating copyright, copyright-related rights and database rights.

Řežábek left the courtroom satisfied. He does not even have to pay the CZK 96 million that the injured companies demanded from him. The court referred their claims to the civil proceedings. Řežábek did not even receive the fine that the prosecutor had asked for in her closing argument.

“The court considers that the money is unenforceable against the defendant,” Vydra said. Řežábek receives a pension of CZK 14 500, pays more than CZK 3 000 for his flat, is facing foreclosures and, as he claims, is short of CZK 2 000 every month. “At the end of the month I always have to go on a diet to lose weight,” Řežábek said.

Source :


The situation of copyright infringement by children abroad is very similar to the Czech Republic. A significant portion of the public here is not aware of the benefits that the protection of copyright and related rights brings to culture and the economy. Ironically, piracy is thus often regarded as acceptable behaviour on the grounds that if it is widespread, it cannot be illegal. And this parents’ misconception is unfortunately being adopted by their children.

Different countries have taken different approaches to the fight against illegal sharing of copyright works. But there is one thing they agree on. Education is essential for children and young people. This is the only way to raise a new generation that is well aware of the harm caused by pirate downloading and sharing, that is willing to comply with the law, and that will pass these attitudes on to their children. How do different countries approach the education of children and young people?



In 2014, the Hellenic Copyright Organisation (HCO) developed an educational programme for schools in cooperation with a working group of educators. In the same year, HCO organised a series of seminars to promote the programme, targeting both the regional officials in charge of the schools and the teachers who can select and implement the educational programme in their classrooms.

Greek Copyright School

In 2015, HCO received a grant from the EUIPO to launch the “Greek Copyright School” programme, comprising five core activities:

  • Printing of information materials and their distribution to teachers and pupils.
  • Organisation and delivery of training courses and seminars in many Greek cities.
  • Development and design of websites categorised for individual target segments (primary school pupils, secondary school students, teachers, and parents).
  • Development of electronic educational games.
  • Creation of a short, animated film on the importance of protecting copyright and related rights.


The Greek Copyright School was an inspiration for other countries

The implementation of the “Greek Copyright School” was a great success not only in terms of the quality of the materials produced but also in terms of the warm response that teachers and students expressed during and after their personal participation in the programme. The programme has also received accolades abroad. It has been presented as a model in its field four times at EUIPO meetings and forums and once at a one-day conference organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). portal

The website is divided into four sections according to the target segments for which the information is intended

  • primary school pupils
  • secondary school students
  • teachers
  • parents.

In the media library, all games, videos, infographics, guides, posters, FAQs, presentations, and other useful information are available in aggregate, regardless of the target segment. The news page provides an overview of the latest and planned events.

The sections for pupils, students, and teachers have an identical structure and their content always corresponds to the age of the users. The section for parents is in text form and aims to answer parents’ common questions on copyright and how to communicate this information to their children. Thanks to comic strips, quizzes, crosswords, games, and other interactive elements, the website is pleasant and lively and can effectively reach the target audience. A great example is an educational game based on the redesign of an octopus. portal

The enjoy legal portal was also initiated by the HCO. It aims to inform the Greek public about online platforms that legally offer copyrighted content. In other words, HCO collects and provides users with online platforms where they can legally watch or download movies, series, and sports events, listen to or download music, read online or download books, and access images and video games. The enjoy legal portal is a member of the agorateka network.

The agorateka portal was launched by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). It is a gateway to national portals providing quick and easy access to legal content offers – music, films and TV shows, e-books, video games, or sporting events. Currently, 24 countries participate in the agorateka project, comprising 107 platforms with links to more than 3,400 sites offering legal copyrighted content. In the Czech Republic, the project has been joined by portals such as FILMTORO, Pro-music Czech Republic and SROC Czech Republic.


Great Britain

Similar to the Czech Republic, stakeholders in England address the problem of cybercrime mainly through information portals.

Internet Matters

Internet Matters is a small non-profit organisation with a wide reach. It brings together a number of talented individuals who are committed to keeping children safe online and strive to help parents, caregivers, and educators stay up to date on the latest research and trends in digital safety.

The organisation has developed and operates a comprehensive portal offering guides and resources on safe internet. Advice is divided by age (0-5 years, 6-10 years, 11-13 years, 14+ years) as children’s online behaviour differs at different ages. And the risks to which different age groups are predominantly exposed also vary.

In addition to piracy, the organisation focuses on a range of other issues such as online hate, sexting, online grooming, fake news, screen time, inappropriate content, cyberbullying, online reputation, online pornography, self-harm, radicalisation, privacy, and identity theft.

In the section on piracy, there are statistics, risk descriptions, videos with parents’ opinions, children’s opinions to understand children’s perspectives and perceptions of the issue, links to articles related to the topic, “guides” focused on specific sub-issues (illegal downloads, viruses, etc.), safety tips and advice for parents on how to ensure safe access to content for their children and recommended additional sources of information.

The Industry Trust

Another organisation involved in addressing illegal downloading in the UK is The Industry Trust. This UK film, TV, and video consumer education organisation promotes the value of copyright and creativity. It aims to tackle the persistent problem of copyright infringement of films and TV programmes by inspiring viewers to appreciate great film moments and choose to watch films, TV programmes, and videos from legal sources.

It currently has more than 40 members, including distributors, cinemas, and online and offline retailers.

In collaboration with the film education charity Into Film, the organisation has developed educational material for teachers and pupils. This educational material is designed for pupils aged 7-14. It aims to highlight how to stay safe when accessing film and TV content online, while also introducing them to different types of malware and their effects, including webcam hacking, personal data leaks, and online blackmail. It calls on young people, parents, educators, social workers, law enforcement bodies, businesses, public officials, and the wider public to work together to create a better internet.



In Germany, the state media office Mediaanstalt NRW has developed an internet awareness PDF for parents. The rather comprehensive material covers various topics on child protection on the internet and is a practical and useful guide for parents of children of different ages.

Another work focusing on the topic of a safe internet is the publication Nicht alles, was geht, ist auch erlaubt. This booklet, which could be translated into English as Not everything that is possible is also allowed, provides internet users with the most important information on copyright and personality rights and the associated liability risks. In 2015, the brochure was expanded to include the topic of liability for illegal downloading by minors.


Parents who are concerned about the penalties resulting from illegal downloading of content by their children are being targeted by the Verbrauchszentrale – the Federal Consumer Association. This organisation offers parents guidance in the form of best practice.

An essential piece of information for parents who are concerned about liability for their children’s illegal downloading on the internet is that they need to inform their children about the legal situation regarding copyright.

Parents in Germany who want to avoid liability must be able to prove in the event of a lawsuit that they have sufficiently informed their children about the prohibition on downloading and distributing copyrighted material. This means that they should note the date of such a conversation with the children as well as the content discussed. During a conversation about copyright infringement, parents should discuss all the dangers, prohibitions, and legal conditions in a child-friendly way and establish appropriate rules of conduct.

However, the website also states that, depending on the developmental maturity of the child, such a discussion makes sense from the age of 12 at the latest, while in theory both parents and children can be held responsible at a younger age.



All EU countries face the same problem of a lack of awareness of copyright and illegal downloading and sharing of content. Each country approaches the problem in its own way and focuses on different areas for solutions. The Greek model, with its Greek Copyright School, shows the importance of creating a structured and attractive educational programme including printed materials, seminars, and interactive online tools, and combining different forms and approaches to make education effective and fun for all ages. Britain can inspire with its emphasis on collaboration with non-profit organisations and the use of multimedia resources. The German model, with its emphasis on parental responsibility and prevention through informed conversations, may in turn encourage other countries to develop specific information campaigns for parents.

It is therefore extremely important for countries to inspire each other and share best practices. It is also important to exchange experiences and materials that can be adapted to the specific needs of each country. The use of effective elements from individual countries and the integration of best practices from abroad can also help establish an effective, sustainable educational programme in the Czech Republic, which will contribute to reducing the level of copyright infringement among children and young people.


Gone are the days when people used to plan their time according to when their favourite movies or TV shows were on. Today’s hit is online viewing. There are many streaming services to choose from, with a huge range of films and TV series even in Czech, but they have one thing in common: they are paid. If we wanted to watch content without paying anything, do we even have any legal options?

Why legal? There are two main reasons. The first is ethical. It costs something to make a film, and if it’s a commercial project, it’s not fair to deprive the creators of income. The second is less altruistic – safety. Illegal platforms are at best on the edge of the law, often beyond the edge, and are at risk of malware attacks. So what options do we have if we limit ourselves to our Czech pond?

TV stations

Television stations that we can tune into on regular broadcasts offer access to live streaming over the internet. In addition, we can access at least some of the content in the archive of varying lengths for free. These are typically the creation of the station in question, so they are not restricted by licensing conditions.

TV Nova

TV Nova offers access to live broadcasts only for logged-in users. However, the account is free. However, while watching, you may occasionally encounter a message about a missing internet broadcast permission. In addition to the live stream, you can also watch recordings of Nova shows such as Survivor or On the Hunt. You’ll need a paid Voyo account for ad-free viewing and access to episodes that haven’t aired yet.

Voyo; Source:

Voyo costs 159 CZK per month, but offers a 7-day trial period. So if you happen to want to enjoy watching to the fullest and a week would be enough, there is this option.


Prima TV is not lagging behind the competition. The offer includes the possibility to watch both live broadcasts and shows from the archive. Both are subject to logging in. A free account will allow you to watch the live broadcast and the archive, both with commercials. Prima has an interesting subscription plan, where you can choose between a plan with half the amount of advertising or a more expensive one with no ads at all. In addition to this, they still vary in picture quality, from the free account in SD, through HD to FullHD.

prima+; Source:

iVysílání Czech Television

This is a big project of Czech Television. We can find a really large number of all possible genres to watch here. The shows are clearly divided into main categories, where we can find movies, series, documentaries, news… and each of them is further divided by genre (comedy, family, drama…). We can find here mainly shows produced by Czech Television, including real treasures in the form of films for memoirs, but not only those.

There are also foreign films, series and documentaries, but you should not delay watching them for too long, because they have a limited time for which they can be played. For some shows, we see a warning about the end of availability, or in the worst case, a message that the show cannot be played for licensing reasons.

Source: iVysílání

In addition to programmes from the archive, iVysílání allows you to watch live broadcasts of all Czech Television programmes.

Seznam TV

Seznam TV is a full-format television. It offers its own programmes, which it supplements with Czech and foreign content. There are films, series, cartoons, documentaries and news. Shows are broadcast by programme, but you can use the web environment to go back in time or if you watch Seznam TV on a regular device, you can use the HbbTV app (red button).


Although, like Seznam TV, it is operated by Seznam, there are fundamental differences. While Seznam TV is more or less a mainstream broadcaster, specialises in original content created for an internet audience. Here you can find original Czech series, films, documentaries and other formats not normally available on broadcast TV.



There is a wealth of content available on YouTube. Type in a relevant search phrase such as “free documentaries” and you’ll get a wide range of playlists. However, I have not been able to verify whether the videos are actually on YouTube legally (put there by the rights owners or at least agreed to by them) or whether they remain available according to the saying “where there is no prosecutor, there is no judge”. That is also why we do not provide any specific link. YouTube as such is available for free, but you cannot avoid advertisements. You can, however, purchase YouTube Premium, where, in addition to removing ads, you get YouTube Music and the app lets you play videos with the screen off. This is handy for music or podcasts.


All the big operators also offer TV packages and sometimes offer promotions. When it comes to long-term TV viewing, T-Mobile offers free Magenta TV in the basic version with its voice packages with unlimited data. You get 26 channels that you can watch on one device. You can activate Magenta TV in the My T-Mobile app as follows:

Magenta TV; Source:

After ordering, you will receive a username and password that you enter into the app. This is a really basic application, plus you get an error message when you try to access the archive.

O2 offers basic TV Blue with fixed internet, not a mobile tariff. Similar to T-Mobile, you get login credentials, you can share these between multiple devices, but only one will run at a time.

As you can see, the options are there, but you only ever get a limited range for free. The exception to this is Czech Television’s iBroadcast, but we actually pay for that with licence fees. Which service you choose, or whether you prefer one of the paid options, is up to you. But as always, we’d love it if you’d share your experiences in the comments.

Do you watch free movies or prefer paid services?



The news portal TN Live will become TV Nova’s main channel for broadcasting ahead of the European Parliament elections. At the same time, the portal itself will shift in content and come up with new programming.

The key pillar of the Nova Group’s pre-election coverage of the European Parliament elections will be the main debates on the TN Live web portal. They will take place on 17 May, 24 May, 31 May and 6 June. Each episode will be followed by articles on and a report in Televizní noviny. They will be hosted by Martin Čermák and Háta Sassmannová, who is TV Nova’s permanent correspondent to the European Union. The debates will take place in the main building of TV Nova, will be broadcast live from 15:00 and will last 60 minutes.

“We will be inviting parties, movements or coalitions that average at least 3% of the vote in the electoral projections to the election coverage. We have informed the political parties and the public in advance about this key for the selection of guests. We are as transparent as possible,” says Kamil Houska, director of TV Nova’s newsroom.

Nova invites candidates to the debates based on surveys from Kantar, STEM, Stem/Mark, CVVM, Median, Ipsos and Data Collect published from 7 December 2023 to 30 April 2024.

At the same time, the TN Live portal will undergo a content transformation after three years of operation. Since May, the daily programme “Napřímo” has been included in the daily frequency, and the lifestyle magazine “Talk!” is also appearing more frequently. In June, the World Beyond Borders programme will be expanded and other new features on TN Live are expected to be added in the second half of the year.

We spoke to Kamil Houska, director of news at TV Nova, about the European Parliament elections and the plans for TN Live.

The TN Live website will be TV Nova’s main channel this year for broadcasting the debates leading up to the European Parliament elections, which fall on 7 and 8 June. The debates will not be part of TV Nova’s linear broadcast. Why?

It is because the European elections are different from the House of Commons elections or the presidential elections. From a TV point of view, what is interesting about the parliamentary elections is the clash of several party presidents. In the case of the euro elections, however, the attention is fragmented because there are no party presidents on the candidates’ lists, and then there are the candidates for European Commissioners. We have therefore decided to split the pre-election debates into a larger number of debates and to allow the parties to field a different candidate each time.

Nova has already published a key for inviting candidates to the debates. Is the one you will use for the European elections different from other election events?

We have had a mechanism in place for several years and we still follow it. We draw on several surveys from the major polling agencies each time and average all the published results of each party over a pre-determined period. On the basis of these, we calculate an average value that indicates whether or not they will cross the threshold for election. According to this key, we then invite representatives to the debates.

However, we also know that the situation on the political scene is changing and that several entities are hovering around the 2-3% threshold. Even sociologists admit that a few entities may approach the electability threshold. That is why we have decided that, in addition to the debates to which we are inviting representatives according to the clear key that I have described, we will also open up topics in Television Newspapers to which we will also record the views of the candidates of these smaller parties.

Given that you will be bringing the debates to the webcast, have you considered inviting representatives of all the parties to the debates? This is precisely to avoid possible criticism that participation in the debates is open only to certain entities…

It will never be possible to satisfy everyone, and we must set a limit, because we cannot invite everyone. Someone will always feel aggrieved that they did not get to participate in the debate. We publish our rules clearly and in the long term and do not change them. We go by a clear key and, unfortunately, there is no other parameter than the averages of opinion polls. Yes, we can also stick to the results of the last election, but that is, in my opinion, an even worse option, because in one election period the mood of society can vary quite a lot.

We are going by a clear key and, unfortunately, there is no other parameter than polling averages.

So the backbone of the Euro election coverage will be four debates spread over four weeks of an hour’s duration without a super-debate…

Yes. In addition, we will also include the highlights of each debate in the TV news. The superdebate makes sense in parliamentary or presidential elections because in these cases the roles of the debaters are clearly understood. In the case of the European elections, it differs in that someone is a candidate, someone is the leader of a candidate list, and someone is running for Commissioner. The European elections are the most difficult for us to explain to people that they are about them. Half of the people do not know or do not realise what the EU brings to them. The ambition of full-screen commercial television is to explain to people in a concise and clear way the basic things that are decided in Brussels.

To broadcast the election results, you are preparing the Our Europe programme, which will start on Monday 10 June instead of Breakfast five minutes before 6:00 and will last about three hours. This is a different style of presenting the results than in the parliamentary or presidential elections.

The Euro elections are atypical in that they wait until the last polling stations have closed. This is an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time – the disadvantage is that you cannot continuously count the results and report on how everyone is doing. The advantage, on the other hand, is that by the time we can report, the results for the Czech Republic will have been counted and we can tell the audience the result straight away. For this reason, there is no point in preparing an extraordinary continuous broadcast on Saturday, because we could just say that the elections are over. The results will be known on the night of Sunday to Monday, so we will offer a special three-hour broadcast on Monday morning to analyse them.

You are not planning a special magazine dedicated to the European elections in the linear TV Nova broadcast?

We have considered it, but we think it would be better to use our existing programmes and spread the topics evenly. They will appear in the programmes Televizní noviny, Střepiny or Za pět minut 12áct.

How important are the European elections for Nova in terms of news priorities? Is their importance growing?

It depends on your point of view. It is no secret that voters are not that interested in the Euro elections. But it is an important election for journalists and broadcasters because we want people to understand that by participating in the elections they can influence the running of the European Union. We often hear that people complain about the European Union, but if they can express their opinion in the elections, they will stay at home. That is why we want to focus on elections. We want to explain to the audience that many things are no longer decided at national level, but are decided at European level.

The European elections are the most difficult for us to explain to people that they concern them.

The debates on the occasion of the European Parliament elections are now one of the most visible projects of TN Live. But alongside that, you’re also expanding the coverage of some of your existing weekday shows – specifically, Straight Talk and Talk. What do you hope to get out of this?

We intend to modify the functioning of the TN Live portal. We see that traffic to the site is high when there are major events that can attract tens to hundreds of thousands of people. However, when nothing extraordinary happens, traffic logically drops. It turns out that programmes that are clearly defined work well, so that the audience knows what to associate with such a programme. Because in this case they often search for it retrospectively and do not necessarily watch it live. That’s the case with the show Straight – it has eight to 10 thousand viewers live and tens of thousands more watching it in the next 48 hours in additional viewing. The implication is that TN Live can work in a “podcast” way, so to speak, in the time not devoted to live coverage of important events. Therefore, we decided to create a plethora of shows exclusively for TN Live on a daily basis. Each show will have a regular place in the schedule. The show Straight will focus on 20-30 minute interviews with politicians every weekday. The Talk show is showbiz oriented. But we are also preparing other programmes. We also want to expand the distribution of content to other platforms and not just keep it on the TN Live website. (TN Live is also available on the HbbTV app and Voyo, ed.)

What other shows are you preparing for TN Live?

In addition to the aforementioned Straight and Talk shows, we are planning daily sports shows where we will focus on a different sport every day. The Nova Group holds a number of broadcasting rights to sports programmes, and we want to take advantage of this. We are also planning programmes on a weekly basis, for example a programme focusing on literature or also programmes targeting certain groups. For example, topics related to the police, the army or the fire brigade are quite varied and are of interest to a large group.

We want to expand the distribution of content to other platforms and not just keep it on the TN Live website. So we will involve YouTube and podcast platforms in the distribution.

A new feature of TV Nova’s journalistic programmes this year was the programme Na vaší strane, but after a month of broadcasting it has moved from Saturday evenings to Mondays at 22:30. What do you think of the change in airtime?

It turned out that the Thursday slot is more convenient than the weekend one. The show highlights injustices and for this reason the weekend time has not worked well for us, as viewers seem to have a harder time accepting shows that are less relaxing on the weekend. The move has helped and we are pleased with the results of the show. We are also getting a large number of tips each week from viewers on topics we can open up on the show. And we’re proud that we’ve already been able to help several people actually solve their difficult problems. That the show isn’t just about highlighting the problem, about warning other people, but that it can actually help those particular people.

We’ve had a similar experience of shifting to a different time slot with Weekend. We used to air Weekend on Tuesdays, and because it didn’t work as much at that time, we moved it to Weekend Breakfast, and last May we brought it back as a stand-alone show on Monday nights at 10:30. In this new time, it’s doing great numbers, with a share in excess of 23% and working better than before. But it’s also true that we’ve changed its programming, producer and it has new editors.



At the end of last year, the Association of Commercial Television (AKTV), together with TV Nova and FTV Prima, concluded an agreement with the operators of the service, Inside Invest, and its former operator, Fusion Media. The agreement sets out the terms of an out-of-court settlement. The operators of will ensure that no copyrighted works of AKTV members appear on their service, and once these conditions are met, the commercial TV broadcasters will end the court and enforcement proceedings. The agreement also includes payment of the costs of legal representation of TV Nova and FTV Prima in related litigation.

Commercial TV broadcasters who are members of the Association of Commercial Television have succeeded in reaching another agreement aimed at greater protection of their content in the online environment. The commercial broadcasters’ legal action against the operators of the repository resulted in an out-of-court settlement agreement in November 2023.

The subject of the agreement is’s commitment to take technical measures to ensure that the works of the Nova and Prima TV groups are not available on and cannot be uploaded to the service as required by the Copyright Act with effect from 5 January 2023. The list of protected works is continuously updated to take account of new titles or new series episodes. In addition, the former operator of reimbursed the commercial broadcasters for the legal and court costs they incurred in protecting the copyright in In accordance with the agreement, the broadcasters subsequently terminated the legal and enforcement proceedings against the former and current operators of

“After a six-month trial period, we can now see that our requirements as a copyright holder are not excessive and can be met without any problems, just as the operators of do. At the moment, there is a minimum of our content on the service and if we find our works that the filtering has not yet detected, we communicate promptly and gradually improve the filtering together,”

says Klára Brachtlová, President of the Association of Commercial Television.

“Internet piracy remains a clear priority for us. We are therefore still ready to negotiate with other internet storage operators and jointly set up conditions and technical measures to prevent illegal sharing of our content,”

adds Brachtlová.

In addition to active legal protection of copyright, the Association of Commercial Television has long focused on educational activities. As part of these activities, it operates an information website on copyright, which is available at Interested parties will find here a glossary explaining terms on the topic of intellectual property protection, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), and regular news on internet piracy. There is also an up-to-date series of articles on the new study Online Copyright Infringement in the European Union, published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).


Sponsorship of only longer programmes, limited number and length of sponsorship messages, limitations on product placement and advertising on ČT sport, and zero advertising online are some of the ideas of commercial broadcasters about changes in the placement of commercial messages on Česká televize (Czech Television, ČT).

Pavel Kubina, a long-time media lawyer, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Commercial Television (AKTV), which brings together the most important domestic commercial television stations. He has moved from the position of Director of the Legal Department of FTV Prima to the position of Director for Media Law Issues as of February 2024. He focuses on legislation related to television broadcasting, media content and the advertising market and also deals with the issues of copyright, personality protection, anti-piracy, and artificial intelligence.

Much has been happening in the field of media legislation in recent months. We therefore talked to Pavel Kubina about the upcoming amendments to the Czech Television Act and the Radio and Television Fees Act, the upcoming new amendments to the Audiovisual Act and the new European media regulation EMFA. We also touched on how the big commercial TV groups are progressing in the fight against pirated content.

Probably the biggest current legislative topic is the preparation of the so-called major media amendment, which includes changes to the Czech Television Act, the Czech Radio Act and the Radio and TV Fees Act. After the Ministry of Culture submitted a proposal last year to increase the TV fee by CZK 25 to CZK 160 and the radio fee by CZK 10 to CZK 55 and to extend the basis for collecting the TV fee to mobile phone and computer owners, the entire commercial media market responded with rejection. Based on this reaction, working groups were established in which both public service and private media were represented. However, whether they agreed on anything and what the revised draft of the major media amendment might look like is not known at the moment.

Since the beginning of January, working groups have been meeting at the Ministry of Culture to discuss possible proposals for amendments to the Czech Television Act, the Czech Radio Act and the Radio and TV Fees Act. However, it is unclear at this point how the preparations are progressing. Has there been any consensus within the groups?

At the moment, we have been informed that a solution will be created based on minimalist amendments to the Czech Television Act and the Czech Radio Act and a memorandum where the tasks of the public service are to be described in more detail. We had the impression that the draft wording of the amendments to the two Acts would result from the discussions within the working groups but a separate dialogue between the Ministry of Culture and Czech Television and coalition negotiations were going on in parallel. We will see what the outcome will be.

Earlier statements by representatives of the commercial market and information leaked out regarding the preparation of the new draft version of the laws showed that the commercial market had brought its proposal for changes to the amendments to the laws. Can you mention any specific proposals that you think the amendments should contain?

Yes, we have provided the Ministry of Culture with our proposals. Our premise is that we want to preserve the dual system, i.e. the coexistence of the public service broadcaster and private broadcasters, to ensure media pluralism. However, in order to set up the dual system correctly, we consider it crucial to define the public service as precisely as possible. In our view, it is important that someone on behalf of the state articulates what is considered to be the public service. European law requires the definition of a public service to be as precise as possible to determine what a public service is and what is not. It is entirely up to the Member State to determine what it wants and does not want as a public service. The definition of public service should certainly not be as all-encompassing and flexible as it is now, the state should not be passive and public service broadcasters should not de facto define their role themselves.

Is defining the role of the public service primarily a task for the Ministry of Culture in your opinion? Or who should define it for the state?

We believe that this is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture. Someone has to formulate the state demand. That is the core. Unfortunately, in our country, it started the other way round: it was said what the fees should be but it was not specified what the public service was. The debate on the definition of a public service has never been completed. That is why we are not saying that the proposed amount of increase or extension of the fee is correct because we still do not know what a public service is. The requirement for a precise definition of the rules on public service aid is also justified by the protection of competition and the position of the commercial media in that competition. The current Czech Television Act describes public service only vaguely. It uses examples to list the main tasks, which means that there are some other tasks but it is not clear which ones. There are terms such as multimedia services, additional services… It is hard to imagine what all these terms actually mean.

How should this be treated in legislation? By extending the existing definition in the Czech Television Act or by adopting a special document or charter Minister of Culture Baxa talked about?

The definition of public service should certainly be legally binding. We think that the most basic definition should be in the law. It would be good to provide further clarification in a document that we refer to as the Binding Public Service Rules. We have the idea that these rules would be updated every five years and that they would be approved in a way similar to the Czech Television Code, i.e. in the Parliament. There should also be a procedure in the law for approving new or substantially changing the existing services. This follows from European law. We propose that the services should be approved by an institution other than Czech Television – for example, the Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting (RRTV) or the Czech Television Council. The institution would assess the adequacy of costs, the impact of such a service on the media market and a number of other things.

The definition of public service should certainly not be as all-encompassing and flexible as it is now, the state should not be passive and public service broadcasters should not de facto define their role themselves.

So what do you think is the key to maintaining the dual system? The specification of the public service?

We see as a priority the refinement of the definition and tasks of the public service, the introduction of binding rules for the performance of the public service and the introduction of a process for the approval of new services. Until this is in place, fees should not be addressed. We know that the Ministry of Culture is working more with the idea of a memorandum that the public service broadcaster would draft, then negotiate with the Council of the Czech Television or the Council of the Czech Radio and then the Minister of Culture would sign it. We feel that the approach to the process of developing the memorandum is rather unfortunate because there is no space for the state to actively articulate its demand. If the conclusion is that there is a memorandum that is adopted in this way, we would certainly want the fee increase to be conditional on the memorandum having already been concluded, and on the commercial media having an institutionalised opportunity to participate in negotiations on its content.

Advertising limits for commercial and public service broadcasters are an essential part of the dual system setup. Commercial broadcasters are allowed higher limits for the placement of advertising and other commercial messages. Czech Television is also allowed to include a certain volume of commercial messages, albeit much lower. Do you call for higher limits on commercial messages or do you have an idea of a completely ad-free Czech Television?

We see sponsorship as the main problem because it has developed into a form on ČT that, in our opinion, the legislator did not intend. Sponsorship on ČT is largely interchangeable with advertising for sponsors and viewers, and although it complies with the current legislation, its form obliterates the original idea of limiting the scope of ČT’s commercial activities. The legislator intended to introduce lower limits on commercial communications for public service media than for private TV. We therefore propose that ČT should only be allowed to sponsor longer programmes, of 30 minutes or more, with a maximum of two sponsors and a sponsorship message of no more than 5 seconds. As far as advertising is concerned, i.e. classic spots, we believe that the ČT sport programme should operate in the same regime as other ČT programmes; advertising could thus be included only if its placement is a condition for obtaining broadcasting rights to a given sports competition. We believe that product placement should also be reduced. It could remain for sports programmes, but for others we see no reason to do so. There should be no online advertising – neither on the internet nor in on-demand services. However, we acknowledge that it would be necessary to retain online sponsorship of production that took place within a TV show.

Sponsorship on ČT is largely interchangeable with advertising for sponsors and viewers, and although it complies with the current legislation, its form obliterates the original idea of limiting the scope of ČT’s commercial activities.

Given the time lag, there is growing uncertainty as to whether the amendments will make it through the Chamber of Deputies in time to enter into force in 2025. What are your ideas about the timing of the next steps?

As commercial broadcasters, we need legal certainty, which we don’t have now. We want to get the amendments sorted out as quickly as possible, but until there is a more precise specification of what constitutes public service broadcasting, the preparations cannot move forward. Otherwise, we agree that it would be good to get the amendment through as quickly as possible. This means that the revised texts of the amendments should be submitted to the government by the summer so that they can begin to be debated in the Chamber of Deputies.

Discussions were also held on the form of the amendment to the Audiovisual Act. According to the July 2023 agreement, the fees for the Czech Film Fund or Audiovisual Fund are to be increased to 2% for all audiovisual market participants, including video-on-demand services. How has the drafting of the amendment progressed?

The level of the fee was just one of the topics, a number of other topics were debated, and not everything was reflected in the proposal that has already gone to the government. We hope that our comments will be included in the text, at least in the form of amendments.

What are the specific requirements?

The draft amendment retains the supplement to the TV advertising revenue fee, which amounts to 2% of the annual advertising revenue. It ensures that the Fund collects at least CZK 150 million from TV stations. However, in our opinion, in times of media convergence and changes in viewing behaviour, this surcharge of up to CZK 150 million is no longer justified.

Furthermore, we do not consider it good that on-demand services that are funded only by advertising are also subject to the on-demand service charge. This is because they compete with on-demand content-sharing platforms, which are not subject to the fee. This puts Czech operators at a disadvantage. We also believe that specialised on-demand services, such as sports, music or news and journalism, should not be subject to the fee.

In our opinion, the proposal should have been refined so that one service could not be charged twice.

We also find it problematic that the proposal significantly favours independent producers when it comes to TV production. It is good that the range of supported formats has been extended to include small-screen formats. However, the proposal is designed in such a way that only independent producers can apply for the incentive and they still have to prove a share of the rights corresponding to the support drawn. Sometimes, however, these companies are in the position of being just producers, and the creative part is up to the television. Or the TV station finances the creative part. So the law effectively extorts the wealth of one type of market entity at the expense of another. In our view, contractual freedom should work in this respect.

In our opinion, the proposal should have been refined so that one service could not be charged twice.

The European Parliament has recently approved the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), which will be incorporated into national legislation in the coming months. What is your assessment of the text of the EMFA?

As representatives of the commercial market, we are in favour of the lowest possible regulation. We do not see the EMFA as indispensable. On the other hand, there are some positive elements. These include the guarantee of non-interference by politicians in editorial activities. The EMFA also introduces a new European Board for Media Services to oversee the implementation of the legislation. The question is who will represent the Czech Republic in this body and which authority will have which competences. We will have to wait for a decision.

The EMFA also relates to the ability of media operators to resist the deletion of content by major internet platforms. How much weight do you attach to this regulation and what can it realistically cause?

It is good that such a procedure exists. The important thing will be who is to be the media service operator that can use such a procedure. We do not want state, and certainly not private, lists of good and bad media to decide which media deserve protection.

AKTV has long been supporting the protection of copyright on the internet. Several recent court decisions, as well as the adoption of the European Digital Services Act, give hope for more effective action against pirated content. Do you see the situation changing?

Previous legislation already had the potential to solve the problem, but legislation alone is never enough and there must be a workable decision-making mechanism. Moreover, in the case of pirated content, it is important that decisions are taken quickly. The fact that the DSA was adopted had no immediate impact on our cases.

We were successful at court several times in the past, and as a consequence, we have entered into a number of agreements with platform operators to put in place anti-piracy measures that have so far proved effective. But unfortunately, there are still some platforms that keep applying piracy practices and are fighting back by dragging out the court proceedings. Unfortunately, the courts do not always understand the true nature of the pirate platforms’ business, which is competitive with the media or legal services. Sometimes this leads to results such that we have success in litigation but it comes so late that it does not matter anymore.

In our view, in the first round, the pirated content should be made unavailable on the relevant platform at the request of the rights holder, and if this is not done, the entire service should be made unavailable in an administrative procedure.

What measures would help speed up the effective prevention of the dissemination of pirated content?

We have found the unfair competition route to be more viable and much more understandable to the courts than copyright law. What is effective is the issuance of a preliminary injunction. Possible non-compliance leads to fines, the amount of which may be significant for these platforms, at which point they become interested in settling the situation.

But it is time for a radical cut because the level of internet piracy in the Czech Republic is still high compared to developed European countries. It is not only investors, authors or artists who are losing money due to piracy but also the Czech Film Fund and the National Film Archive.

We believe that these matters should be decided in an administrative procedure with fixed time limits for decision-making. In our view, in the first round, the pirated content should be made unavailable on the relevant platform at the request of the rights holder, and if this is not done, the entire service should be made unavailable in an administrative procedure. It is very important that the protection is also applicable for the future, e.g. for future episodes of an ongoing series.

Such an administrative process exists in Greece, and we consider it to be quite transferable to the Czech legal environment. A similar administrative process also exists in Italy. We are convinced that such a solution is cheap and can bring a lot of money to the state and the institutions mentioned.

It would be appropriate to include such a provision in the amendment to the Audiovisual Act or to the forthcoming Digital Economy Act.


Pavel Kubina is the Director of Media Law Issues at FTV Prima and since February 2024, a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Commercial Television (AKTV). He has been working in media law since 2001 when he joined the management of the Legal Department of FTV Prima. Since February 2024, he has been appointed Director of Media Law Issues.



The Nova TV group posted the highest year-on-year growth in the TV market in April and also achieved the highest share.

The group with the highest share of the TV market this April was Nova. It achieved the highest shares not only in the universal 15+ audience group in daytime broadcasting, but also in the other crucial 15-54 and 18-69 audience categories in daytime and prime time broadcasting. This is according to official ATO-Nielsen audience measurement data.

The Nova Group also notched up the highest year-on-year increases in both all-day and prime-time in April. Česká televize finished second in the 15+ (all day) group, just ahead of third-placed Prima. However, CT’s share decreased the most year-on-year of the six TV groups. In prime time, the share of Prima and Česká televize was the same in the 15+ group, while in the 15-54 and 18-69 audience categories Prima had a very slightly higher share in prime time than CT.

Among the other TV groups, Atmedia’s representation continued to grow to 6.88% (18-69), thanks in part to the addition of Warner TV to its portfolio, which recorded a share of 0.5% in April. In contrast, the Barrandov group continued to decline.

Share of TV groups (%), full day, April 2024

Source: ATO-Nielsen, Live TV+TS0-3 as of 6 May 2024, prime-time = 19:00-23:00

Share of TV groups (%), prime-time, April 2024

Source: ATO-Nielsen, Live TV+TS0-3 as of 6 May 2024, prime-time = 19:00-23:00

Of the individual stations, Prima Krimi (+0.76 pp., valid for 15+, all day) and Prima Love (+0.61 pp.) posted the highest year-on-year increases in April, followed by Nova Gold (+0.53 pp.) and Nova Action (+0.37 pp.).

The most-watched TV programmes in April were Shadows in the Fog (CT1, 1.34m 15+ viewers), Specialists (Nova, 1.29m) and Televizni noviny (Nova, most-watched edition, 1.2m).



Two men who operated a business that sold unlicensed subscriptions to pay-TV sports channels have been given a 20-month suspended prison sentence.

Benjamin Yates and Lewis Finch, both from Worcester, were convicted of offences under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The prosecution followed an investigation by Worcestershire County Council’s Trading Standards team with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and BT Sport.

Test purchases by FACT and BT led to the case being referred to Trading Standards and entry warrants being executed at both their addresses.

An examination of IT equipment seized during the investigation confirmed that both men had been heavily involved in the provision of IPTV services with approximately 3,971 subscribers.

Further investigations of their PayPal accounts showed that payments of over £320,000 had been received over three years.

“This court result underscores the value of our collaboration with Worcestershire County Council’s Trading Standards team and our broadcast partners,” said Kieron Sharp, CEO FACT. “The individuals behind this illicit streaming service made a considerable amount of money through their fraudulent activities and this outcome serves as a stern warning to those who sell subscriptions or devices that provide access to content without properly compensating the rightful owners.”

Sharp said the organisation would continue to work with law enforcement and broadcast partner BT Sport, now TNT Sports, to combat illegal streaming services.



A 35-year-old man from region of Pardubice suspected by police of downloading 1 408 films and making them available for free distribution faces up to eight years in prison. He is said to have caused nearly CZK 60 million in damages to copyright owners.

According to the police, the man downloaded films from a data file repository, which he then made available for further download to people so they could obtain copies of them. “They could not only watch them repeatedly, but also dispose of them in other ways, such as making them available to other people,” police spokeswoman Dita Holečková said.

Police officers began investigating the case in 2021, when they identified the man and searched his home. They seized computer equipment, data carriers and recording equipment.

“Subsequently, we had expert reports drawn up in the field of cybernetics and the field of patents and inventions, economics,” Holečková said.

The man is charged with criminal offences of copyright infringement, copyright-related rights and database rights.



Media manager Klára Brachtlová has been the head of the Association of Commercial Television (AKTV) for a year. The Association was founded by the Nova, Prima, and Óčko TV groups seven years ago. In an interview, Klára Brachtlová reveals how the Association helps TV stations, how broadcasters are coping with the advent of artificial intelligence, and why commercial media opposed the amendment to the law that increases fees for Česká televize (Czech Television, ČT).

AKTV celebrates its seventh birthday and you have been in office for a year. How would you evaluate this period? What went well? And is there anything that hasn’t worked?

Seven years ago, AKTV was established as a brand-new common platform for commercial television with the aim of becoming a partner to state institutions in the development of legislation and being a unified ‘voice’ for television. We know our sector and are able to assess well and quickly the potential impact of external influences, such as legislation. The second pillar of our activities has been to promote television as an advertising media type.

What was your focus?

Initially, we placed more emphasis on promoting television as an advertising medium, communicating the latest trends from around the world, and educating people on what works best on television. We are members of multinational European industry associations, so we have a lot of global information and bring it to the Czech market. However, over time more and more emphasis is put on the role of AKTV as a partner in legislative and regulatory processes.

Is it because more and more media laws are being prepared?

Quite a lot of media-related legislation is currently being drafted in the Czech Republic and more is coming to us from Brussels where more than two-thirds of the regulations concerning the European region are being prepared. So over time, our activities have shifted a lot towards Brussels so that we could monitor the EU’s media regulation priorities at an early stage, and I think we are successful in this respect. One example is probably the last EU action before the elections, the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA). This is something where we were at the very beginning.

At the very beginning? How exactly? Did you comment on the document?

We have already been to the first consultations and Commissioner Věra Jourová presented us with the initial proposition of the document. Although this is another media regulation that we do not welcome enthusiastically in the already heavily regulated audiovisual media sector, the final version of the EMFA seems to be a reasonable compromise.

Will it have some positive effects?

That remains to be seen. For example, Brussels has recognised that in all areas where effective self-regulation exists in EU Member States, self-regulation can be preferred to regulation in the topics covered by EMFA. This includes topics such as the protection of freedom of the press.

And what about restrictions?

Television and radio have already been highly regulated industries, so we don’t see major changes yet. EMFA is a set of tools that are activated at some point. One example is the purchase of media, which in many cases is a below-the-limit transaction not subject to the approval of the Office for the Protection of Competition. EMFA puts in place mechanisms to prevent, for example, a large group threatening media pluralism in a particular region.

Is it in effect?

Last week (17 April), the EMFA was published in the EU’s Official Journal and will apply from August 2025. Now the Member States have their work cut out for them. They have to look at how they will be affected by EMFA, which laws will have to be amended and how. In the Czech Republic, we do not even know yet who will be responsible for the various parts of the Act.

In seven years, you have managed, for example, to suppress storage sites like Ulož.to and to enforce the protection of Prima and Nova’s works in court. What are you facing now?

Unfortunately, illegal sharing of our content is still a hot topic. As far as legislation is concerned, there are some shifts; last year, an amendment to the Copyright Act came into force, which aims to better protect copyright works. We are also seeing shifts in the rhetoric of state officials. They have finally started to see piracy as a real issue that is causing a huge amount of money to leak out, not only for content creators but also for the state.

What amounts are we talking about?

From hundreds of millions to several billions per year. It should be taken into consideration that economic damage is also caused to institutions such as the Czech Film Fund or the National Film Archive, which exercise and trade the rights to large libraries of Czech films.

Finally, piracy is part of the grey economy and tax evasion can also occur because the operators of so-called storage sites are often based outside the Czech Republic. Nobody denies that, but nobody really wants to meddle in this phenomenon because it is a complex matter. The biggest problem we have is judicial enforcement.

The technical aspects of illegal content distribution are evolving faster than the courts are deciding.

Yes, that is definitely a problem. If we want to protect one TV season and, say, the three most attractive titles in court, we are talking about litigation for several years. But in the meantime, we have other seasons running. So this route is not efficient enough for us at the moment and is difficult to use.

Are you ready for the arrival of artificial intelligence?

Technological development is relentless, and I hardly know anyone who hasn’t tried one of the artificial intelligence (AI) tools. It is undeniable that in all fields, including media, the use of AI offers a huge opportunity. For us, for example, it is in the areas of content editing, analytics tools or content quality control. It can be and has already been used for content creation but in this respect, I would be cautious because these generative models only work with what already exists, what they have “learned” somewhere.

A separate issue is the so-called deep fake, where an existing person is exploited, in the field of both photography and video, and we don’t even know about it. The media is already starting to face this, not only in the textual use of AI but also in image misuse. One such case is now being dealt with by colleagues at Prima. They have had a CNN Prima News story misused.

Television is probably affected a lot as anything can be remade there. On the other hand, on Prima, for example, AI has started subtitling programmes for the audience with visual and hearing impairments.

The use of artificial intelligence for the preparation of audio descriptions is a very effective way to make broadcasts accessible to as many disabled viewers as possible. Colleagues at Nova use AI to create additional sports content, such as highlights.

Is it supported by legislation?

In the EU, the so-called AI Act is being finalised, which deals with AI in a rather general way and does not yet address the issue of copyright. The European representation is saying: yes, we will complete this law and, in the period ahead, we will look at how AI will affect other areas and, if necessary, give it more precise rules.

How is the media perceiving this?

From the media’s point of view, it is primarily a matter of self-regulation and ethical use of these tools. That is, if we use AI to create content, it should be clearly labelled from the perspective of the user or viewer.

The UK’s BBC, for example, goes even further and says that the viewer or user should know why AI was used in a given case. This is a huge challenge and opportunity for the whole world, including the media, but we need to be very careful how, at what point in time, and for what purpose we use these tools.

Won’t AI move to a different level long before the legislative process begins?

Of course, legislation cannot keep up with this rapid development; self-regulation is and will be crucial.

The trend in television viewing is changing, time-shifted viewing is on the rise, people no longer wait in front of the TV in the evening but watch their favourite shows when they have time. How are commercial TV stations reacting to this?

Yes, it is a global trend, television is undergoing a long-term transformation as the way we watch content changes. Audiences are less with traditional linear TV, which they tend to use to watch live content, such as news and sports. They are more likely to watch other content at a time they choose and on devices other than the traditional TV screen.

Is TV changing then?

Television is actually a very modern and flexible medium; in addition to classic linear broadcasting, we can get content to viewers through services such as VOYO or prima+, which extends our reach to include younger target groups for whom the TV screen is no longer the centre of the living room and family entertainment.

So linear TV is not going to disappear, is it?

Definitely not. In the United States, we are even seeing a kind of over-saturation and fatigue with the plethora of content on hundreds of VOD platforms and a return of viewers to traditional television. However, it is clear that linear TV is gradually being replaced by other ways of watching content, and commercial broadcasters are adapting their distribution mix accordingly.

This is a trend, and it is going faster in Western Europe than, for example, in the regions of Central and Eastern Europe. Over time, the target group that will consume the content is also changing. But its charm, broadcasting now and here, will remain.

The way we watch TV is changing. Are there any changes for advertising or advertisers as well?

Television still offers the biggest reach to advertisers, it is an effective branding tool. The best proof of this is the fact that even e-commerce brands are among the biggest TV advertisers because online presence and communication are not enough for them. We have recently completed a study in AKTV under our ScreenVoice brand on the attention viewers pay to advertising.

It is proven that the more attention a message can attract, the better it is remembered. And that in turn has a secondary effect on your purchasing decisions. Television advertising came out best in the comparison because, unlike internet advertising, people cannot skip it and they see it much more often on the big TV screen, so they get a good perception of the brand.

Now everything is speeding up. Is there a move away from 30-second ads to shorter sponsor messages? Are the ad blocks getting shorter?

Television is narrative, in a longer spot you tell a story perfectly and convey emotion, moving or entertaining the audience. In addition, viewers see the advertising message alongside their favourite content, which is also a big advantage. This is much harder to do in a shorter spot or sponsorship message. But of course, it depends on what the advertiser wants to achieve in a particular campaign.

At the beginning of September, the Minister of Culture introduced an amendment to the Czech Television and Czech Radio Act, which regulates the amount of fees. AKTV demands its withdrawal. Why? Have AKTV’s representatives had any talks with the Minister of Culture or other politicians? What specific changes have they put forward? How successful have they been?

The Ministry of Culture held a press conference to present an amendment that no one had any idea about. Together with other colleagues from the commercial media, we objected to the proposal because it would be good if such a fundamental amendment was discussed with all the market players concerned.

It may look like this only applies to public service media, but it doesn’t. Public service media are part of a fragile ecosystem, a dual system, which also includes commercial media. The dual system is important for maintaining media pluralism. For the media sector to be sustainable and predictable for all players, the implications of the changes under consideration need to be well thought out.

Is that why you are asking the ministry to open a discussion?

Yes, that is why we have asked the Ministry of Culture to put the legislative process on hold and to start an expert discussion. This happened, and working groups were set up, one for television and one for radio.

We started working at the end of January when we basically exchanged arguments on what we consider essential for the functional coexistence of public and commercial media. We are still waiting for feedback, the Ministry of Culture is obviously working on something but unfortunately, we don’t know the current situation.

Why are you protesting? What is this all about?

As I said, public and commercial media stand side by side. And each has a different mission. The mission of public service media should be enshrined in a proper definition of public service, and we say: let us look at the definition of public service.

Can you be a little more specific?

In our opinion, it is appropriate to ask whether ČT should invest huge sums of money in, for example, very expensive sports competitions that are usually broadcast abroad by commercial sports channels. It is understandable that if viewers have become accustomed to such free content available on ČT4, it would be very unpopular to stop broadcasting it.

This takes us back to the public service and its definition. And the second key issue for us is the sustainable financing of all entities in the media ecosystem. Commercial media are dependent on advertising revenue for their livelihood. That is why we believe that public service media should be funded either by licence fees or by the state budget and should not have the tendency or the possibility to profit and generate revenues from advertising.

Are you waiting for a response from the ministry?

Yes, at the moment, we are waiting for the Ministry of Culture to give us an update. We are still hoping to reach a compromise result that will ultimately ensure the sustainable functioning of both commercial and public media. This is also a topical issue with regard to the EMFA we have talked about. One part of it concerns the functioning of public service media and the sustainability of their funding. So it needs comprehensive consideration and honest effort.

Are there representatives of ČT in the working group?

Of course, there are Czech Television and Czech Radio and also representatives of other commercial media there. We are there together.

From a layman’s point of view, you seem to work to remove advertising from ČT and cut its profits.

We are asked whether we want to eliminate the public media. That is certainly not our goal. For us, coexistence with them is very important, especially in today’s complex geopolitical situation. We have been saying the same thing from the beginning. Let’s look at this conceptually, let’s define the role of the public service media, and then we will work out how much money they need.

Not the other way around, we will add two billion and you will tell us what you will do for it. We don’t want to weaken ČT by taking away advertising, that is only a small part of it. In terms of commercial messages, the bigger issue for us is sponsorship. The sponsorship messages on ČT are now almost interchangeable with the advertising block. Although the law is not breached, it is de facto being circumvented in this way, and we do not think that this is how it was originally intended.

Your next topic is the transformation of the Czech Film Fund. What stage is the process at? And are you also working with the Ministry of Culture on it?

Yes, this process was exactly the opposite. For the transformation of the Audiovisual Fund, the Ministry invited us to a debate and a working group was formed before it was officially established. Negotiations continued for almost a year, and on some points, a fairly reasonable compromise was found.

However, in our opinion, for some others, the discussion was not completed, and the ministry suddenly came up with a proposal which it has already sent to the legislative process. But there are problematic points in the amendment that I would call almost discriminatory.

Can you give us an example?

The fund is financed by contributions from commercial entities, TV stations, operators, cinema operators and, in the future, VOD platform operators. Until now, the biggest contributor has been commercial TV, and our fee has been defined as a percentage of advertising revenue for traditional linear TV and also a minimum collection of CZK 150 million.

This means that if that percentage of advertising revenue didn’t add up to 150 million, the commercial TV stations had to pay 150 million. For example, in the COVID period when the commercial TV stations were really in trouble because of the outflow of advertising revenue, we also paid 150 million.

Will this change?

Commercial TV is the only one that has that minimum threshold. We have sincerely hoped that when the whole system of support for audiovisual content is being reconfigured this would be an ideal opportunity to level the playing field and not discriminate one media type against another or one type of taxpayer against another. The Ministry of Culture understands this but unfortunately, this discriminatory principle is still enshrined in the law.

What will the law change?

In the proposal, we appreciate that under the new system of operation, foreign VOD operators should also contribute to the fund. Until now, we were the only ones to pay for VOYO and prima+. On the other hand, services such as YouTube or Facebook, which do not meet the legal definition but which undoubtedly contain a large amount of audiovisual content, are not subject to the levy.

So that is another discriminatory element, local players have to make contributions from advertising revenue on web platforms while the big multinational players are not affected. It is probably also food for thought that not all the players who draw incentives and benefit from the state support system for audio-visual content are contributing to the system. On the positive side, however, the amendment should finally make it possible for us as the largest investors in audiovisual content in the Czech Republic to draw support for television formats.

Officials understand that sharing illegal content also leads to the leakage of government money. With the rapid development of artificial intelligence, legislation cannot keep up.

Author: Jitka Venturová