August 29, 2013 09.53 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
Poland’s competition authority (UOKiK) has imposed fines totaling over PLN3.6 million (€843,000) for the fixing of pay-per-view transmissions in the country.
Cyfrowy Polsat has been hit hardest by the fines – some reports say it will be required to pay just over PLN2 million – and two companies have received either a reduced fine or escaped punishment all together under the authority’s “leniency programme”.
The fines follow an investigation into the transmission of two World Cup qualifying games played by the Polish national team just under a year ago.
The rights to the games were held by Sportfive and it entered into agreements with 11 broadcasters – UPC Polska, Cyfrowy Polsat, Vectra, Multimedia, Toya, Inea, Echostar Studio ZTS Tele 4, SGT, ZYUA Antserwis, TK Antserwis and Asta-net Asta Group.
According to the UOKiK, they entered into an illegal agreement setting a minimum price (PLN20) they would charge viewers to watch the games.
The authority is also of the view that Cyfrowy Polsat was the initiator of this action, something that the company vehemently denies.
Sportfive escaped being fined and Multimedia had its reduced by 30%.