The dust is settling from last week’s hectic pace, and when I took a look at the news today, I was surprised to find that TV Nova has been sold back to CME for the princely sum of USD $642 million, which, when converted into Czech crowns, should get former owner Petr Kellner a Happy Meal or so.
Actually, even in crowns, the amount CME will be out of pocket to retake Nova will be substantially less, considering that the Czech government has to pay CZK 10 billion to CME after losing in arbitration. It’s great deal for CME and Ronald Lauder, because even though Nova’s quality been sliding from even its own low standard, its market share is still massive and set to stay that way.
What do you want to bet Jan Vavra has been studying Donald Trump on “The Apprentice,” just so that he can go up to Barrandov and say “mÃ¡Å¡ padaka” to any number of Nova employees? I’m sure he hasn’t had too much to do as of late, so he’s got to be good at it by now. The sad irony is that it looks like he won’t even have that pleasure; CME management said they see no reason for heads to roll at Nova.
So to recap: CME is the owner again of TV Nova, former owners PPF have a princely sum on their hands, and once Petr Kellner’s thumbs turn blue from counting all his 5,000 KÄ notes – two million, nine hundred sixty thousand 5,000 crown notes, to be exact – talk turns to what he’ll buy next. Could be other media holdings in the region, could be Czech Telecom, could be the Slavia football club (although I think PPF could buy something like 50 Slavias for that kind of dough). With that kind of money, the question is what Kellner can’t buy.
The only losers are – you guessed it – Czech taxpayers, who will be left holding the bill for losing the arbitration. And here you thought the cavalcade of stupidity was only on Nova’s estrada shows. After all, CZK 10,000 per person for every man, woman and child in the country is a small price to pay for this kind of entertainment, both on-screen and off, right?