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CEE TV industry news stories

Chris Dziadul, January 19, 2024
Warner Bros. Discovery sparks Polish “streaming revolution”
Poland’s TVN Warner Bros. Discovery has added 15 proprietary FAST channels to its Player platform. Offering the best TVN programmes and series, they form part of a new free zone on the platform that includes a content library. The channels cover a wide range of subjects ranging from telenovelas (TVN Telenowele) to motoring (TVN Moto) and cookery (TVN Rewolucje w Kuchni). At the same time, TVN Warner Bros. Discovery will shortly close its streaming service, the free content of which has been relocated to Player. Significantly, this is the largest launch of FAST channels in CEE to date and puts Poland very much at the forefront of FAST across the region.
More channels for Czech Republic
The Czech regulator RRTV has granted 12-year licences to the channels OK TV, Warner TV and UTV. OK TV will be operated by OK Music Television and show music, lifestyle and entertainment programmes produced in the Czech Republic, while Warner TV will be operated by HBO Europe and offer viewers US series, films and documentaries. UTV, operated by ZAK TV, will be a news and info-based channel.
Netflix stays ahead in Poland
Netflix strengthened its position as the most watched streaming service among TV viewers in Poland in December 2023. According to Nielsen’s The Gauge, its share increased to 1.9%, up from 1.7% a month earlier. Meanwhile, YouTube viewership increased from 1.6% to 1.8% over the same period. Significantly, these increases resulted in the overall share of streaming platforms among TV viewers rising to 7.1%, the highest figure since August 2023.
New landmark for Go3
TV3 Group’s Baltic OTT service Go3 has reached 500,000 paying subscribers, representing 20% of households in the region. The milestone was achieved in less than four years since its launch in December 2019 and has made it the leading streaming service in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.  Over the last 12 months Go3 has recorded the highest weekly and monthly viewing figures in its history while breaking viewership figures every month. On average, viewers watch the service for more than 3.5 hours a day. TV3 Group is a portfolio company of Bite Group and Providence Equity Partners.
Cost of Kyivstar cyberattack revealed
The cyberattack on Ukraine’s Kyivstar in December is estimated to have cost the operator around $95 million (€87.4 million). The cyberattack caused temporary disruption in Kyivstar’s network and services and was described as the world’s largest attack on telecom infrastructure. Kyivstar, which is owned by VEON, is the leading mobile operator in Ukraine and also has a presence in the country’s broadcast industry though the OTT service Kyivstar TV.
CME hires Michaela Papezova
Michaela Papezova has been appointed the group communications manager at Central European Media Enterprises (CME). She began her career as a PR specialist in February 2011 and has previously held positions at – amongst others – Allegro Group Czech Republic, MallGroup and Rockaway. CME is owned by the Czech Republic’s PPF Group and one of the leading commercial TV broadcasters in the CEE region.
Strong growth for Russia’s Premier
The Russian streaming service Premier, which is operated by Gazprom-Media, ended last year with 4.8 million paying subscribers. This, according to a local report, was 33% more than a year earlier. The number of viewers watching Premier on smart TVs increased by 46% and the service’s revenues rose by 113% in 2023. Separately, the recommendation system developed by Premier last year has shown good results, with the average number of days spent using the service increasing by 14% and number of viewers of previously released films and series, as opposed to new releases, increasing by 38%.
4iG makes Spacecom move
Hungary’s 4iG has decided to cancel its non-binding debt settlement proposal sent last November to Spacecom, the operator of the Amos group of satellites. 4iG currently owns 20% of Spacecom and says it has prepared and sent a new non-binding proposal as a replacement. Spacecom covers Hungary and the rest of the CEE region with Amos 3.  
Solorz’s son to head Polsat
Piotr Zak, the son of Zygmunt Solorz, the founder and main shareholder of Poland’s Polsat, has become the president of the management board at Telewizja Polsat. At the same time, he will continue as vice chairman of the supervisory board. Zak replaces Stanislaw Janowski, who will join the supervisory boards at Telewizja Polsat and Polsat Media.
United Media hires Aleksandar Varov
Aleksandar Varov has been named the head of the newly formed Digital Advertising and Revenue Team (DART) at United Media. DART was established by United Media with the primary goal of expanding its business through innovative sale strategies. Varov comes to United Media from Bulgaria’s largest digital media firm NETinfo Group, where he was CEO.
Istvan Durgonics joins 4iG
Hungary’s 4iG has appointed Istvan Durgonics procurement manager (content & program production). Durgonics was most recently the strategic marketing manager at DIGI Hungary, prior to which he held positions at, DIGI, Antenna Hungaria, Invitel Telecommunications, FiberNet and UPC. He began his career at Global CATV in 1998.
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© Chris Dziadul, 2024


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