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Czech digital shift irks TV Nova

Law moves changeover to 2009

PRAGUE — TV Nova, the star property of Central European Media Enterprises, is accusing the Czech government of bully tactics over its recent announcement that it intends to move forward the deadlines for the country’s conversion to digital TV broadcasting.

The amendment to the digital television law, put forward by the Interior and Culture ministries and set to reach the parliament floor June 5, would give six independent stations temporary five-year permission to broadcast, with an option to reup for another five years. Those stations’ operations have been on hold since fall.

The law moves the changeover from analog broadcasting from 2012 to 2009.

Nova topper Petr Dvorak complained that his station was given only two working days to formulate a response to the law. “This is very short notice,” he said.

The station, the leading Czech terrestrial, released a statement accusing the state of “completely changing the digitalization process and the rules for the broadcasting market,” adding that no American-owned company registered on the stock exchange could agree to such changes in less than 18 days.

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