November 1, 2019 / 11:03 AM / 13 days ago

O2 Czech Republic not treating CME's Czech station with preferred status

PRAGUE, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Telecoms group O2 Czech Republic said on Friday it was not treating Central European Media Enterprises' (CME) Czech television channel TV Nova with any preferred status after its majority owner announced the acquisition of the broadcasting group this week.

O2's Chief Executive Jindrich Fremuth said on a conference call after third-quarter earnings the company had not started any negotiations with TV Nova, which is a content provider for O2.

O2's 81% owner PPF, the richest Czech businessman Petr Kellner's investment group, announced this week a $2.1 billion purchase of CME that is likely to close next year.

"We do not have any intention to become a content creator or provider and rather we want to leverage our channels and significant customer base to distribute the content," Fremuth said.

"Even though some synergies are possible, we don't see TV Nova as some preferred type of provider because we cannot depend on them only. We need many different content providers." (Reporting by Jason Hovet)

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