The Polish audiovisual market model is based on three categories of broadcasting: public service broadcasters, licensing – social broadcasters, and licensing – commercial broadcasters.
The television market is divided between the public broadcaster TVP and two commercial television stations: Polsat and TVN. Public television offers nationwide and regional programmes operating under the name TVP INFO (sixteen regional centres). Additionally, TVP offers five satellite channels: TVP Polonia (for Poles living abroad), TVP Kultura (culture channel), TVP Historia (history channel), TVP Sport (sports channel) and TVP HD. Other channels can be viewed only via the digital platforms and cable networks, so their range and influence is limited.
TVP Kultura was launched on 24th April 2005. It is aimed at the promotion of various cultural activities, including non-commercial artistic projects. The half of the channel’s broadcast material is based on Polish Public Television’s (TVP) archival programmes. The rest consists of programmes bought from foreign broadcasting companies.
Public radio and television are mainly financed from public funds (licence fees) and budget subsidies. Advertising is an additional source of financing although some restrictions regarding public media are present.
The major responsibilities of the National Broadcasting Council are set out in the Broadcasting Act and are twofold: to award broadcasting frequencies to public radio and television stations and to share income from the license fees between different public broadcasters. The National Broadcasting Council is also obliged to design, in consultation with the Prime Minister, state policy in the field of broadcasting.
The supervision of the National Broadcasting Council does not prevent the politicisation of public media. A strong political influence on Polish public broadcasting institutions is very visible and commonly discussed.
Several complaints against public broadcasters have been issued which argue that they do not fulfil their public function to support independent and ambitious producers or young creators.
Despite the dynamic development in the field of accessibility to the Internet, Poland still faces the problem of digital exclusion. In developing infrastructure to deliver broadband Internet, Poland, in particular the eastern Polish provinces, lags behind the rest of Europe. The problem is also a lack of media education, which could prepare young people to be more critical and conscious as well as creative and active in using media, especially new technologies.