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Poland: Cyfrowy Polsat handed fined in ARD-ZDF Euro 2016 probe

 |  January 5, 2020

Cyfrowy Polsat, the Polish pay-television operator, has been issued with a fine of PLN34.9 million (US$9.1 million) by Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) after dropping German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF from its decoder menu during Euro 2016.

The regulator has handed down the punishment, which Cyfrowy Polsat has one month to appeal, after finding that Cyfrowy Polsat had “used practices that undermine the collective interests of consumers.”

Explaining its ruling, the UOKiK announced Friday, January 3, that the ARD and ZDF channels showing live Euro 2016 matches (with German commentary) were removed from the automatic list of Polsat’s basic digital channels on the seventh day of the tournament.

That move was, according to the regulator, designed to drive Polish viewers to sign up to Euro 2016 coverage on Polsat Sport’s encrypted channels. The removal of the channels from slots 470 and 471 on the Polsat decoders “deliberately hindered access to broadcasts to encourage consumers to take advantage of the company’s offer,” the UOKiK added.

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