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CEE TV industry news stories

Chris Dziadul, February 29, 2024
 
New channels for Polish market
Poland’s MWE Networks is planning to add two more channels – Pogoda24.TV (weather) and Junior (Kids) – on March 1 – to its portfolio. Two further channels – TV Szlagier (folk music) and TVC Super (possibly shopping) are also in the pipeline. Separately, Red Carpet Media Group is reported to be preparing to launch a terrestrial channel named CTV9 on the Polish market.
 
Czech CRA launches sports channel
The Czech national transmission company CRA will launch a new channel named Sporty TV on March 1. It will focus mostly on indoor sports and be distributed terrestrially on Multiplex 23.
 
United Group completes Bulsatcom deal
United Group has confirmed that it has acquired the Bulgarian satellite TV and internet provider Bulsatcom for an undisclosed fee. At the beginning of February Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection (CPC) reportedly gave United Group’s local subsidiary Vivacom the go-ahead to take over Bulsatcom. The acquisition has been criticised for some time by Vivacom’s close competitors A1 Bulgaria and Yettel Bulgaria. More recently, the politician Kiril Petkov has questioned CPC’s legitimacy to make the decision before the election of new members by the National Assembly. The transaction will create an entity accounting for 60% of pay-TV subscribers in Bulgaria.
 
Pay-TV ‘promo fest’ in Russia
A festival of promotional videos for pay-TV channels will be held for the first time at the CSTB.PRO MEDIA Forum in Russia on February 29. According to Orion, the videos were created in 2022-2023 and Sky Media, THEMA RUS, Universal Distribution, LTI Vostok, Media Telecom, First TVCh, Red Media, KinoJam Family of TV Channels (MTS Media), Signal Media, Start Media TV, Time Media Group, Ufanet, Digital TV Family are participating in the festival.
 
Voyo tops 1m subs
CME’s streaming service Voyo has now surpassed 1 million paying subscribers across its markets in Central and Eastern Europe. The milestone has come three years after CME’s acquisition by PPF Group and represents nearly a seven-fold increase since 2020. The strongest growth has been in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.
 
Wider reach for Nova sport channels
The Czech operator Telly has made the new channels Nova Sport 5 and 6 available to its subscribers from February 29. The recently launched channels offer viewers coverage of, amongst others, Formula 1 and Moto GP. Nova Group, the owner of the channels, is also set to acquire the broadcasting rights to UFC for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Meanwhile, earlier this week Skylink, which is part of Canal+-owned M7 Group, announced that it has added Nova Sport 5 and the Slovak documentary channel Joj Svet to its offer.
 
Bosnian TV audience measurement dispute
Milica Ristovic Krstic, the head of the Institute of Metrology of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been accused of arbitrarily changing the rules governing the measurement of viewership of TV stations in the country. She has close links to the Serbian SNSD party in Republika Srpska and claims she acted within the law. 
 
Canal+ secures Crunchyroll
Canal+ Polska has entered into an agreement with Sony Pictures Television (SPT) covering Crunchyroll. The first such deal in Poland, it will result in the anime-based service distributed on Canal+ Online. Crunchyroll is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Aniplex, owned by Sony Music Entertainment (Japan). It is available on 15 platforms, including most game consoles.
 
Rakuten inks Ukrainian LoI
Kyivstar and Rakuten Symphony, a subsidiary of the internet services company Rakuten Group, have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to deploy Open RAN and 5G technology to rebuild Ukraine’s infrastructure. The move follows a number of measures taken by Rakuten and Kyivstar’s parent company Veon to support Ukraine during the war. Kyivstar is the largest telco operator in Ukraine with 24 million mobile and over 1.1 million home internet subscribers. The other services it offers include digital TV.
 
Tibor Rékasi to remain Magyar Telekom CEO
Tibor Rékasi has had his mandate as CEO of Magyar Telekom extended for a further three years until June 30, 2027. He was appointed to the position in July 2018 and his mandate was initially extended for another three years at the end of 2020. Rékasi joined Magyar Telekom Group 12 years ago.
 
Volia adds TV channels
The Ukrainian operator Volia has added the channels Viasat Serial and StarLight Media’sYour Series to its offer from February 29. Earlier in the month it also added the scientific and education-based channel Front to its line-up.
 
 
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© Chris Dziadul, 2024
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