Chris Dziadul Reports: Czech focus
The Czech Republic may not be the largest TV market in Central and Eastern Europe, but it is certainly one of the more progressive.
Take its DTH sector, which is particularly noteworthy for the recent success of the platforms Skylink and CS Link. Also available in neighbouring Slovakia, they are both owned by Luxembourg-based M7 Group, whose other interests include CanalDigitaal (Netherlands), TV Vlaanderen (Flanders) and Tˆ©lˆ©sat (Wallonia), and seem to go from strength to strength. Indeed, as of the end of last year, Skylink was reported to already have 100,000 subscribers to its HD services alone.
However, M7’s focus appears to be increasingly on building up the Skylink platform, with CS Link no longer offering pay-TV services as of January this year. It remains to be seen what M7’s long-term plans are, especially for CS Link.
Elsewhere, UPC DTH appears to have turned the corner with its freeSAT platform. Known as UPC Direct before being relaunched September 2011, it has been slowly gaining subscribers ’Äì 6,000 in the last quarter of 2012 alone ’Äì in what is a highly competitive satellite TV market.
Competition is also increasingly seen in the Czech Republic’s cable industry, which despite being dominated by UPC is also served by several other large operators including BKS Capital Partners, FCA and Self Servis.
Meanwhile in the DTT sector, we have recently seen changes to the ownership of some multiplexes and a general expansion in the number of channels offered to viewers. As of this month, the figure already stood at 25 in the capital, Prague, and more are likely to follow.
On the other hand, there are as yet no pay-DTT services in the Czech Republic.
The biggest changes in the market are arguably being seen on the content side, with leading broadcasters such as TV Nova and Prima TV having both already launched new channels this year.
These issues and much more will be discussed at the latest Business Breakfast organized jointly by Broadband TV News and Telenor Satellite Broadcasting. It will take place at the Marriott Hotel in Prague on Thursday, March 14. For further information and to register for free, please go to:
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