Željko Mitrović - Šolak alliance; Users have the right to terminate contract with SBB
TV Prva issued a statement regarding the coverage of the United Group media and Pink television.Source: B92
Please find enclosed full transcript of TV Prva's statement.
"We live in time of strange alliances. One of such alliances is indicated by the reporting of the United Group media and Pink Television in recent days. The season was opened by Željko Mitrović, unmistakably recognizing the war in Ukraine as the right moment for witless jokes about a nuclear attack, albeit media-nuclear attack on the Serbian media market. Nova.rs continued with a report on how Prva is allegedly misleading the public about the nature of the relationship between Grand Production, a member of the United Group, and our television.
Apparently, the interest that brought together Mitrović and the United Group was an attempt to destroy the three national broadcasters, Prva, B92 and Happy, which would free Pink from competition, and at the same time clear the ground for what they hope from United Group, further growth of Nova S.
Let's find out what actually happened. At the end of October 2022, the contracts that Prva and B92 have with various companies of the United Group expire, and which, among other things, regulate the distribution of TV channels Prva and B92 in the network of the cable operator within the United Group, the SBB company. At the same time, the contract under which Grand Production, also a company within the United Group, ceded the right to broadcast certain of its television formats to television Prva, for Serbia and Montenegro, expires. In particular, it concerns the formats "Grand Stars", "Weekly Special" and "Practical Woman".
While in relation to the continuation of the distribution of Prva and B92 in the SBB network, SBB received an offer from the representatives of our channels to which it has not yet responded, Grand Production, despite the contractual obligation to continue broadcasting its formats, first offered to Television Prva, if trusting Željko Mitrović's tweets, already sold it to Pink. If the contract with TV Pink was indeed concluded, Grand Production is undoubtedly violating its contractual obligation. Also, Prva was not even offered to conclude a contract under the same conditions.
The claim made by Grand Production in a written address to Television Prva, that they allegedly offered us the continuation of the broadcast of the format in 2020, is simply not true. The offer we received in 2020 was sent, without a seal and without a signature, by a person who did not have any position, nor was even employed at Grand Production, without any power of attorney authorizing her to do so, so TV Prva couldn't have accepted it. Moreover, although the previous contracts covered the territories of both Serbia and Montenegro, that "alleged" offer from 2020 did not apply to both territories. With such an unfair offer from 2020, Grand Production did not act in accordance with its obligation stipulated in the Annex to the contract from 2017, because Grand Production did not even send that offer, it was sent by an unauthorized person who was not even employed at Grand at a time, nor was it a person authorized to represent Grand Production.
What we can reasonably assume is that the "nuclear strike" announced by Željko Mitrović, with media support from the United Group whose media baselessly accuses us of misleading the public, will be carried out in the following way. SBB, which ignores the offers of our representative, will not conclude new contracts for the distribution of channels Prva, B92 and Happy in its network, which is already being announced to us through private channels, thus, to the joy of Željko Mitrović, from the end of this month the only commercial channel with national coverage offered by SBB will remain TV Pink. TV Pink, on the other hand, will also take over the popular formats of Grand Production, violating the rights of Prva.
Thus, the United group, which is always the first to cry out about the alleged violation of media freedoms and suppression of the media, will show that even when they defend the media, they only defend those they have put their paws on and control in a reckless fight with the competition, while they are not at all interested in the suppression of other media - on the contrary, they are ready to make a key contribution to it, with the wholehearted support of Željko Mitrović. To make things worse, it would have to be more than clear to Željko Mitrović, and the management of United Group, led by the inevitable player Dragan Šolak, that the right in this case is on the side of Television Prva. What they are hoping for is the proverbial slowness of the Serbian judiciary, which emboldens them in the expectation that the disputes that will follow will last long enough for them to sell their operations in Serbia, cash out and pass the hot potato on to someone else.
If these assumptions of ours turn out to be true, users will have the absolute right to request the termination of their contracts with SBB and to change the cable operator. Prva TV and B92, for their part, if SBB, Grand Production and other companies within the United Group do not return to the path of respecting rights and maintaining correct and fair business relations, will resort to using all legally available mechanisms to protect their rights and the rights of their viewers.